After two weeks of watching the Braves from the comfort of his living room, pitching coach Roger McDowell has returned to his position with the Atlanta MLB franchise.
McDowell ignited a firestorm of outrage when, during a game in San Francisco last month, he baited Giants fans with a shocking array of threats and slurs.
When Giants fan Justin Quinn says heard McDowell ask a group of men watching batting practice before the game if they were, “homo couple or a threesome?” and, “are you three giving it to each other in the ass?” while making a crude gesture with his bat, Quinn admonished the coach to tone down his rhetoric because his 9-year old daughters were within earshot. McDowell allegedly responded by brandishing his bat at Quinn and threatening, “How much are your teeth worth to you?”
Reasonably quite offended, Quinn immediately raised a big stink about the whole incident. Quinn, an environmental researcher who also hosts a motocross radio show, hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, who pressed the league into taking disciplinary action against McDowell. The coach received a two-week, unpaid suspension and had to attend sensitivity training classes.
Here’s a video of Quinn and Allred teaming up at a press conference to demonstrate precisely what McDowell’s crude gesture looked like. Fair warning: it’s hilarious! (The good part starts at 2:00).
“These past two weeks have been very humbling, emotional and a reflective time for me and my family to better understand what has happened,” said McDowell.
“I have and will continue to learn from this and have committed to being a productive member of the Atlanta Braves organization and to this coaching staff.”
Allred was pleased with the the league’s actions, saying that McDowell’s suspension demonstrated that, “[MLB] believes that homophobic slurs, sexually lewd conduct and threatening behavior by coaches or any other person employed at a game in the major league will not be tolerated.”