Diamondbacks television analyst Bob Brenly said Thursday that he was taking himself off the air for a week after making a comment about Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman’s headwear that was widely considered racist.
Brenly also responded to accusations by former MLB player Aramis Ramirez, who said that Brenly criticized him and other Latino players on the Cubs more harshly than he did white players when Brenly was a TV analyst for the club. Ramirez named Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto in the group.
The broadcaster said in a statement to The Athletic (subscription required) he “voluntarily decided to take some time off to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion to enhance my understanding and appreciation of others.” He also said he expected to return to the air, “hopefully a better person,” for the Diamondbacks’ next homestand. Arizona will be home next on June 11.
In his response to Ramirez, Brenly denied that a player’s ethnicity impacts his analysis.
“My job is to describe Major League Baseball and to call it the way I see it — the good and the bad. I have always tried to do so in an honest, unbiased way, regardless of a player’s background or race. I am sorry that my work offended Aramis, as I think of him as one of the most successful players of his generation,” Brenly, 66, wrote.
Ramirez was with the Cubs from 2003-11; Brenly was a Cubs TV broadcaster from 2005-12 and joined the D-backs’ TV crew for the 2013 season.
On Tuesday, Brenly compared Stroman unfavorably to Mets legend Tom Seaver. “Pretty sure that’s the same du-rag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets,” Brenly, who is white, said of Stroman, who is Black.
Brenly said in a statement released by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday he made a “poor attempt at humor that was insensitive and wrong.”
Stroman tweeted Wednesday he was moving “(o)nward and upward . . . through all adversity and racist undertones.”