Oakland Athletics broadcaster Glen Kuiper was suspended Saturday and will remain off the air until a review of his on-air racial slur is completed, an NBC Sports California spokesperson announced.
The slur occurred during Friday’s pregame show ahead of a weekend series opener against the Kansas City Royals. Appearing alongside color commentator Dallas Braden, Kuiper tried to tell the audience the pair had visited Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Unfortunately, it appeared he flubbed the word “Negro,” with the result coming out as the slur.
“We had a phenomenal day today: N***** League Museum and Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue.”
You can see the clip itself here, with a warning it contains NSFW language.
Kuiper, who has been Oakland’s television play-by-play commentator since 2006, later issued an apology at the start of the sixth inning, saying his intended words came out as something else.
“A little bit earlier in the show, I said something, didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. As I said, I just wanted to apologize for that.”
NBC Sports California released a statement from Kuiper the next day with a firmer apology:
“I could not be more sorry and horrified by what I said. I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies.”
The A’s quickly denounced Kuiper’s language after the game, releasing a statement saying they would address the situation.
The language used by Glen Kuiper during today’s pregame broadcast is unacceptable. The Oakland Athletics do not condone such language. We are working to address the situation.
— Oakland A’s Communications (@AthleticsPR) May 6, 2023
One person who called for forgiveness was Negro Leagues Museum president Bob Kendrick, who released a statement earlier Saturday denouncing the word used, but noting Kuiper was “genuinely excited” when he visited the museum and welcomed others to forgive Kuiper:
“I’m aware of the unfortunate slur made by Glen Kuiper. I welcomed Glen to the NLBM yesterday and know he was genuinely excited to be here. The word is painful and has no place in our society. And while I don’t pretend to know Glen’s heart I do know that my heart is one of forgiveness. I hope all of you will find it in ourselves to do the same!”
Former A’s great Dave Stewart, who is Black, seconded Kendrick’s statement and said his years of knowing Kuiper made him think he deserves a second chance after “an unfortunate mistake.”
Bob it could not have been said any better. I know Glen, have worked with him over the years. I believe it was an unfortunate mistake. He, as we all deserve a second chance🙏🏿 https://t.co/byV8EJQ6pO
— Dave “Smoke” Stewart (@Dsmoke34) May 6, 2023
The A’s are on the road for their next five games, returning home May 11 against the Texas Rangers.