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Roger McDowell, the pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves, apologized Wednesday for antigay slurs and violent threats he made at a game over the weekend, but advocates, including GLAAD, want Major League Baseball and the team to take more action.
In a statement late Tuesday evening, McDowell apologized for his statements and behavior before a game on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. A concerned father of 9-year-old twin daughters witnessed and reported the slurs McDowell directed at three men in the stands after they asked for a game ball. The coach in turn threatened the father, who is now being represented by attorney Gloria Allred.
"I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions," said McDowell.
However, GLAAD called on the Braves and Major League Baseball to do more. The incident follows the use of an antigay slur by Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Byrant earlier this month.
"McDowell's apology is a start, but the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball must take real disciplinary action and send the message that antigay slurs have no place in sports," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Professional sporting events should be an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where children are exposed to violent threats and discriminatory language."