This afternoon the Atlanta Braves announced they were putting Pitching Coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave, pending the results of their investigation into allegations he made anti-gay taunts and violent threats against a group of Giants fans at a game in San Francisco last week. While it's a positive step that the team has barred McDowell from joining them for their upcoming three-game series against St. Louis, they still need to take serious action.
“It remains to be seen whether the Atlanta Braves will take real disciplinary action and send a clear message that there is no place for anti-gay remarks or violent threats in baseball,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “The Braves and Major League Baseball should follow the NBA and WWE by speaking out in support of gay and lesbian baseball fans and players around the country, and by taking steps to make the sport a safe place for everyone.”
ESPN reports that Braves General manager Frank Wren hopes to have the investigation finished before the end of the weekend, and said that any punishment would be coordinated with Major League Baseball.
We have been in touch with MLB executives, and we plan to speak with them again once the investigation into this incident is complete. We hope the Braves and MLB view this incident as an oppportunity to send positive messages about diversity, and to urge acceptance of all fans and athletes.