New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman recently spoke out about a comment made by former Major League Baseball player and manager Bob Brenly that he said had “racist undertones.”
It was while Stroman was pitching in Tuesday’s televised game between the Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks, when Brenly, a Diamondbacks television analyst, jokingly remarked that the late Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, a white pitcher, had worn headwear similar to the wave cap Stroman was sporting.
“Pretty sure that’s the same durag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets,” Brenly said.
Afterward, Stroman obliquely aired his thoughts about the comment on Twitter.
“Onward and upward…through all adversity and racist undertones. The climb continues through all!” Stroman tweeted.
Stroman, who has been candid about his beliefs concerning racial injustice and inequality, retweeted a number of users who chastised Brenly for his “racist” comment. In response to one commenter who said, “I am not surprised by this type of language towards African-American athletes. It’s the blatant racism and it’s been going on for a long time,” Stroman retweeted the comment and wrote, “ Since I can’t say it because media will turn this against me somehow…”
On Wednesday, Brenly released a team-issued statement apologizing for his comments, calling them “insensitive and wrong.”
“During last night’s game, I made a poor attempt at humor that was insensitive and wrong,” read the statement. “I apologize to Marcus Stroman and have reached out directly to share those thoughts. I have had several conversations with the D-backs and we agree that seeking sensitivity training is an important step so I can continue to learn from my mistakes in order to be better in the future.”
Mets manager Luis Rojas also called out Brenly for his comment Wednesday, saying it was “very inappropriate.”
“I was very disappointed when I heard it,” he said. “If it was like a joke or something, I didn’t get it. That was my initial reaction to it. I think it’s completely inappropriate.”
The former Cubs star also accused Brenly of “attacking and deriding him on the air” when Brenly broadcasted Cubs games and Ramírez still played for Chicago. Ramírez told The Athletic that because they were not white, he and other Latin American Cubs players thought Brenly’s remarks to them were more insensitive.
Brenly issued a statement to The Athletic through the Diamondbacks apologizing to Ramírez, in which he said his 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.”
He also announced on Thursday that he would be stepping back from broadcasting to reflect on his comments.
Meanwhile, Stroman is currently selling out of durags from his company HDMH Apparel.