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The broadcast partner of an MLB announcer who said the N-word live on TV has finally spoken out days after he was seen nodding in apparent agreement while the racial slur was said before a baseball game began.

Oakland Athletics color commentator Dallas Braden excused the racial slur said by team announcer Glen Kuiper as an “unfortunate mistake” and suggested he wasn’t even paying attention to the words coming out of his broadcast partner’s mouth when he said the N-word instead of “Negro.”

The mea culpa that was quietly posted to Twitter late Monday night suggested Braden may have been too distracted by producers or any of the “nuances of live television” that he said viewers are unaware of.

“We have lots going on that is not always visible to our audience,” Braden whitesplained. “In that moment, I missed the live comment, and I was not aware of it until the sixth inning when Glen Kuiper made an apology.”

Braden said he was offering “support and encouragement” to Kuiper, who is allegedly working toward “understanding the impact and hurt resulting in this unfortunate mistake.”

Notably, Braden said the “incident has, indeed, impacted” him “greatly.” However, he never said how.

Braden went on to say he’s “reached out” to have conversations about race and pledged to “continue to keep clarity.”

Read Braden’s statement below.

Of course, to anyone who has seen the viral footage of Kuiper’s “mistake,” it’s likely hard to take Braden at his word that he was “not aware” his of his broadcast partner’s words. After all, as Kuiper is saying the fateful word, Braden is seen not only nodding in apparent agreement but also pounding his chest to emphasize that agreement, actions that suggest that there was a level of awareness.

In case you missed it, Kuiper was on the air Friday night recounting his experience earlier in the day visiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Athletics were playing against the Royals.

Standing beside Braden, Kuiper gushed about how the two of them “had a phenomenal day” before he gestured with his thumb up. That’s when he cited visiting the “nigger league museum” as a prime example.

Braden can be seen shaking his head in earnest while pounding his chest in body language that screams “agreement.”

Watch for yourself.

The outrage was immediate, especially on social media. Kuiper, who has worked in that same capacity for 20 seasons, said his words “didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to” and asked for people to accept his “sincerest apologies.”

Later that day, a video surfaced on social media allegedly showing footage of Kuiper committing the same racist faux pas just a few years earlier.

While quote-tweeting the video of Kuiper saying the N-word from Friday night, a tweet claimed the video had audio of Kuiper saying the same racist slur in the same context from three seasons ago.

“I knew I wasn’t trippin’ but this was from the 2020 season,” the tweet accompanied by the video said.

While Kuiper isn’t shown in the brief clip, a voice resembling his can be heard discussing “the Negro Leagues” before he goes on to address how “some of the teams are actually wearing nigger league uniforms.” The voice continues to talk uninterrupted.

Listen for yourself below.

Despite the uproar and what appeared to be proof of a racist pattern of speech by Kuiper, the Oakland A’s did not fire him. Kuiper was instead given the privilege of being suspended pending a review.

The president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a Black man, asked for Kuiper to be forgiven.

“I’m aware of the unfortunate slur made by Glen Kuiper,” Bob Kendrick said in a statement on Saturday. “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 yourselves to do the same!”

The Oakland A’s described Kuiper saying the N-word as “unacceptable,” but its decision against terminating his employment suggests otherwise.

The way with which Kuiper effortlessly called the Negro Leagues the “nigger leagues” also suggests he has made that reference multiple times before. Perhaps that consideration will be part of the Oakland A’s review process.

Chances are that none of the above will help MLB’s stated efforts to attract more Black American players.

The sympathy and willingness to give Kuiper the benefit of the doubt for saying the N-word on-air stands in stark contrast to the swift firing of a white Mississippi news anchor who uttered a slang derivative of the N-word during a telecast in March.

In that instance, Barbie Bassett said, “fo’ shizzle, my nizzle,” after her co-hosts joked about a possible Snoop Dogg collaboration on the news show for NBC affiliate WLBT.

And when NBA star Kyrie Irving was accused of antisemitism, he was threatened with termination unless he met multiple conditions from his team, including a hefty donation to an anti-racism organization.

Yet, during the same season, when now-former NBA team owner Robert Sarver was ousted for his racist behavior, he was rewarded with a $4 billion payment for the team. It’s unclear how much of that $4 billion was donated to an anti-racism organization or cause.

At the time, civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton accused the NBA of “[t]rying to explain away the light punishment on Robert Sarver” and accurately noted that “[n]obody can evolve from being a bigot.”

This is America.


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