ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd angered Jose Bautista and other baseball players with a controversial comment about the Dominican Republic during his Thursday show (watch the video above).
Cowherd was talking about the Miami Marlins moving Dan Jennings from general manager to manager, and how he doesn’t agree with people who say baseball is “too complex.”
“It’s baseball. 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,'” Cowherd said. “Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.”
The comments drew a reaction on Twitter from the Blue Jays Bautista:
Other players were also upset, according to the New York Daily News:
Cowherd, ESPN and Fox Sports, where Cowherd will soon begin a new job, have not commented.
According to USA Today, a source close to the players’ union blasted Cowherd’s professionalism and called the comments ignorant and offensive. The source said that players could consider withholding cooperation with ESPN and Fox if they do not respond properly.
Hardball Talk posted Cowherd’s full comments:
It’s too complex? I’ve never bought into that ‘baseball is too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world class academic abilities. A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have. Baseball is like any sport. It’s mostly instincts. A sportswriter who covers baseball could go up to Tony La Russa and make an argument and Tony would listen and it would seem reasonable. There’s not a single NFL writer in the country who could diagram a play for Bill Belichick. You know, we get caught up in this whole ‘thinking-man’s game.’ Is it in the same family? Most people could do it. It’s not being a concert pianist. It’s in the same family.
According to Hardball Talk, Cowherd returned from a break and tried to backpedal, saying all baseball players are dumb.