The usually jovial atmosphere on the MLB on Fox pregame show took an uncomfortable turn before Game 7 of the World Series when analyst Keith Hernandez blurted out a homophobic joke.
The Fox Sports panel, which includes Hernandez, host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas, were discussing which star players needed to step up during Game 7. This led to Ortiz joking about Yasiel Puig’s ritual of licking his bat. Ortiz then leaned over and acted like he was going to lick Hernandez, to which Hernandez retorted while laughing, “I’m not from San Francisco, bro!”
Keith Hernandez: I'm not from San Francisco, bro!! pic.twitter.com/0dM5Om5syA
— Camille (@Love_My_Astros) November 1, 2017
Hernandez’s choice of words came under immediate scrutiny. San Francisco has long been one of the largest and most prominent LGBT communities in the world and as such is frequently referenced in a joking or derogatory manner by those who spread hatred or intolerance toward the LGBT community.
While we can’t say Hernandez shares those feelings, the attempt at humor proved more insensitive than creative or funny. Making matters look worse for Hernandez, he actually is from San Francisco. Some viewers believe he actually said “I am from San Francisco, bro.” That’s not how we heard it, but either way the only reason for him to choose those specific words would be to reference San Francisco’s gay community.
After the game, Hernandez offered the following statement on his joke gone wrong.
“I made a poor attempt at humor and never intended for it to be taken the wrong way,” Hernandez said. “I am from San Francisco and as baseball fans know, the Dodgers/Giants rivalry runs deep. I did not grow up a Dodger fan and when it came down to Giants vs. Dodgers, I rooted for the Giants. I apologize if any offense was taken.”
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