OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Athletics broadcaster Glen Kuiper was let go by NBC Sports California after using a racial slur during a telecast while describing a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Kuiper was suspended by the network following his slur that aired during a pregame segment of an A’s game against the Kansas City Royals on May 5. Kuiper talked about a trip to the museum with colleague Dallas Braden but seemingly mispronounced the word “Negro,” making it sound instead like a slur.
“Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately,” the network said in a statement Monday. “We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years.”
A person familiar with the investigation said “the decision was based on a variety of factors, including information uncovered in the internal review.” The person spoke on condition of anonymity and didn’t divulge specific details because the network had not publicly disclosed the results of the investigation.
Kuiper said in a statement Monday night that he mispronounced the word “negro” out of his excitement talking about his visit to the museum.
“It was a terrible but honest mispronunciation, and I take full responsibility,” he said.
Kuiper said “racism is in no way a part of me; it never has been, and it never will be.”
“I am an honest, caring, kind, honorable, respectful husband and father who would never utter a disparaging word about anybody. Those who know me best know this about me,” he said. “I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity, and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity and character are no longer considered. I will always have a hard time understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination, but I know something better is in my future.”
A’s manager Mark Kotsay said the decision wasn’t made by the team and that he sympathizes with Kuiper.
“I can’t imagine being in his shoes right now,” Kotsay said. “I think personally, we missed an opportunity here maybe to use this as an educational platform. But as you said, I don’t make decisions and this isn’t a decision I was involved in and nor was the organization really. This was a decision made by NBC.”
Kuiper has been calling A’s games in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. He is the younger brother of former major leaguer and Giants announcer Duane Kuiper.