A broadcaster for MLB Network has apologised for using a term that referenced slavery while on-air during a playoff game today.
Jim Kaat, an MLB Network analyst and former major league pitcher of 25 seasons, says he was trying to compliment Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada during today’s playoff game between the White Sox and the Houston Astros.
With Moncada up at the plate in the first inning, Kaat’s broadcast partner and former manager Buck Showalter praised Moncada’s ability and said in jest, “Can we have one of those?” when referring to the first time Showalter saw Moncada play.
The 82-year-old Kaat responded with, “Get a 40-acre field full of ’em.”
Kaat apologised for the remark in the fifth inning, calling his choice of words “poor” and an “insensitive and hurtful remark.”
“Earlier in the game, when Yoan Moncada was at the plate, in an attempt to compliment the great player that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in an insensitive and hurtful remark. And I’m sorry for that,” Kaat said.
It quickly became a topic of debate on social media, with many users calling out the comments used and questioning whether Kaat could return to the commentary box.
Kaat did not explain his use of the phrase. Some believe the “40-acre” term may be from the 1865 proposal to give freed slaves in the US “40 acres and a mule” following the Civil War.
Moncada, who is from Cuba, has played six seasons in the league and finished the season hitting .263 with 14 home runs and 61 RBIs.
CNN has reached out to MLB Network for comment.
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