Colin Cowherd has a history of saying terribly racist things with no professional repercussions. As he exits ESPN for a larger and more lucrative role at FOX Sports, he has submitted his piece de resistance: a rather naked claim that Dominicans are stupid.
Talking on his national radio show, which is simulcast on ESPNU, Cowherd was making a point about whether a general manager had the capability of stepping down from the executive office and adeptly handling managerial duties, as the Miami Marlins' Dan Jennings has been asked to do this season.
"It's baseball," Cowherd said. "You don't think a general manager can manage? Like it's impossible? The game is too complex? I've never bought into that, 'Baseball's just too complex.' Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic."
Unsurprisingly, Dominican players (who make up 10 percent of MLB rosters per USA Today) and the MLB Players' Association have demanded Cowherd apologize. Jose Bautista seems understandably displeased.
Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please— Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) July 23, 2015
Based on his lack of remorse for years and years of racist claims, we shouldn't hold our breath for a legitimate explanation. From Sean Taylor to John Wall, Cowherd has proven time and again that he is an unabashed and basic racist, who thinks he's smart enough to code his irresponsible ideas in a palatable way. He's not.
But ESPN was too meek to do anything about it. And considering that FOX Sports knew exactly who it was bidding on, one presumes that the company will be just as willing to profit off of Cowherd's idiotic musings no matter how gauche they become.
No institution that criticized Donald Sterling can defend Colin Cowherd. Period.
Update 1:37 p.m.: MLB released a statement officially commenting on Cowherd.
"Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game. Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology."
Considering FOX is one of MLB's closest broadcasting partners, you have to imagine them speaking out means Cowherd will need to respond eventually.
Update 3:04 p.m.: And now MLBPA head Tony Clark has spoken up with even more damning language:
"As a veteran of fifteen MLB seasons, I can assure you that our sport is infinitely more complex than some in the media would have you believe. To suggest otherwise is ignorant, and to make an ignorant point by denigrating the intelligence of our Dominican members was not "clunky" -- it was offensive.
These recent comments are particularly disappointing when viewed against the backdrop of the important work being done to celebrate and improve the cultural diversity of our game. Baseball's partners and stakeholders should help such efforts, not undermine them."
Pointing out that Cowherd's comments were not "clunky," but offensive, is possibly a sign this isn't over yet.
Update 5:33 p.m.: ESPN released a statement as well, ending Cowherd's tenure with the network.
"Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees. Colin will no longer appear on ESPN."
It appears Cowherd had one week remaining on his deal at ESPN.
A source tells SBJ that Colin Cowherd's last day was supposed to be next Friday. The current scandal made ESPN move the date up to today.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 24, 2015
Cowherd apologized on Twitter:
I did not intend to offend anyone w my comments. I realize my choice of words was poor and not reflective of who I am. I am sorry.— Colin Cowherd (@ESPN_Colin) July 24, 2015