Minor league baseball employees fired after cracking gay jokes
August 26 2004 12:00 AM ET
The public address announcer and the scoreboard operator for the Atlantic City Surf baseball team have been fired for making jokes about Gov. James E. McGreevey's sexual orientation during games last week. Announcer Greg Maiuro and scoreboard operator Marco Cerino were fired by the team's owners after team general manager Mario Perrucci apologized publicly for their actions. "It's an unfortunate situation, and we took action," Perrucci told The Press of Atlantic City.
Maiuro drew the owners' ire by dedicating a between-innings rendition of the song "YMCA" to McGreevey during a game on August 17, less than a week after New Jersey's governor stunned the state by announcing that he had had an extramarital affair with a man and would resign from office. The 1970s hit song by the Village People is widely considered a gay anthem. The following night, Cerino posted the message, "Sponsored by Gov. Jim McGreevey," on the scoreboard when the song was played.
"I was told what I did was wrong," said Maiuro, the Atlantic League team's announcer for two seasons and the host of a Surf pregame radio show. "I can see where you don't want to mix politics and baseball. I would have been willing to apologize."
Not good enough, said co-owner Frank Boulton, who along with partner Tony Rosenthal decided to fire the pair on Monday. "Any time anyone speaks representing the Surf, they have to understand that we don't politicize," Boulton said. "It's not our place to do so. And it's just disrespectful."