Negro Leagues Museum President Receives Heat After Forgiving Sportscaster Who Said ‘N**ger’ On-Air

Oakland A’s announcer Glen Kuiper, was terminated this week after using the N-word on-air during a game in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium on May 5. The news didn’t sit well with Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. 

“I was hoping it would not come to that because in my heart it was a mistake,” Kendrick told The Mercury News by phone. “Was it a very sensitive mistake? Of course, it was. But it was just that a mistake.”

Kendrick mentioned Kuiper called him directly to apologize for saying the epithet on air. Kuiper’s racial slur came when he was describing a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“He showed and demonstrated his remorse for something that he felt like was a word he had never used before,” Kendrick said. “Again, I have to take him at his word. And I’m really disappointed by the news. I hoped it wouldn’t come to that. I know how much pressure is put on when things like this happen.”

He said he has received major backlash for forgiving Kuiper and the museum has been getting, a lot of phone calls, many of them hateful because he offered forgiveness.

“Who knew forgiveness would generate so much hate?” Kendrick said. “Seems counterintuitive. But that’s the world we live in in the world of social media. That platform is extremely powerful for good and for bad.”

CBS News Bay Area reported that Kuiper released a statement following his termination. In the statement, and doesn’t exactly take responsibility in his response, instead questioning whether one mistake in 20 years justified the decision.

Kuiper’s statement read in part: “I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity, and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity and character are no longer considered. I will always have a hard time understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination, but I know something better is in my future.”