During the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox tilt with the New York Yankees, Sox broadcaster and former big leaguer Jerry Remy made what some are perceiving as racist comments about Masahiro Tanaka and Japanese baseball players.
After Tanaka had served up back-to-back home runs to Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez, he was paid a visit by pitching Larry Rothschild and his translator, Shingo Horie.
On the NESN broadcast, Remy — who provides analysis alongside play-by-play man Dave O’Brien — said he doesn’t think Horie should be allowed out there.
“I don’t think that should be legal,” Remy said, to which O’Brien quickly jumped in, “Seriously?”
“I really don’t,” Remy responded.
When O’Brien asked why Remy felt that way, the 64-year-old responded with:
“Learn baseball language. It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”
Remy went on to say, “I’m probably in the minority in that — my feeling [about translators visiting the mound]. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t know, that’s just me.”
The comments immediately drew criticism on Twitter:
The Red Sox issued a short statement Wednesday in response to Remy’s comments:
Remy, himself, apologized via Twitter:
“Relative to NESN’s telecast last night from New York, NESN does not agree with any such view expressed by Jerry Remy and we know from talking to Jerry that he regrets making them. The network sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended by Jerry’s comments.”
Remy, who is in 30th year of broadcasting with NESN, announced in February of this year that he was being treated for a relapse of lung cancer. He was first diagnosed in 2008 and underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his lung.
Remy took a leave of absence from broadcasting at the onset of the 2009 season but did return in August. According to the Boston Globe, Remy said he had been battling depression.
In 2014, Remy’s son Jared, who used to work for the Red Sox as as security guard, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 fatal stabbing of his girlfriend.
His other son Jordan, who was selected in the 49th round of 1999 MLB Draft, was busted in 2010 on indecent assault and battery charges. His daughter Jenna was arrested in 2013 and charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest, wanton malicious defacement, and misdemeanor breaking and entering after she broke into an ex-boyfriend’s home.