Braves' McDowell apologizes for crude behavior

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LOS ANGELES --- A California man said today that Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell spewed homophobic comments, made crude sexual gestures and threatened to knock out his teeth with a bat when he complained before the Braves played the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.

McDowell apologized today in a statement released by the Braves: "I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions."

Justin Quinn, 33, of Fresno, said he was in the stands at AT&T Park in San Francisco during pregame batting practice with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters when he noticed McDowell hectoring three men and making crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat.

Quinn, who was down in front of the field, then shouted, "Hey there are kids out here," he said during a news conference at the Los Angeles office of noted attorney Gloria Allred.

Quinn alleged that the coach replied that kids don't belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, "How much are your teeth worth?"

Quinn said he felt threatened and was unsure whether McDowell intended to hit him.

"My kids are in panic mode ... they're like grabbing onto me," Quinn said. "I'm talking to him, trying to calm him down and the kids are screaming."

Some parents who were in the stands with their children began to boo at McDowell and came down to retrieve their children. Quinn said that eventually McDowell walked away.

Quinn said he filed a complaint with Giants personnel and also with police but missed most of the game, although his wife and daughters stayed to see it.

Allred today sent Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig a letter asking that he launch an investigation and take "appropriate disciplinary action."

"Both coach McDowell and the team should be fined and coach McDowell should be ordered to apologize to Mr. Quinn and his family, to all of the fans and to the city of San Francisco for his homophobic, vulgar and threatening behavior," Allred said in the letter.

McDowell also should be required to take sensitivity training, she said.

In a statement, Selig said he was informed Wednesday that McDowell had been accused of engaging in "highly inappropriate conduct" toward fans at a game in San Francisco and that he found the allegations "troubling."

The Atlanta Braves have assured my office that they will immediately investigate the allegations, and report the results of the investigation to me," Selig said in the statement. "After I have all the facts, I will make a determination of how to proceed."

In a separate statement, the Braves said they were "concerned" about the allegations and that "this in no way represents the Braves organization and the conduct we expect of our employees."

Quinn's children, Taylor and Kaylyn, said they were upset by McDowell's remarks and actions.

"Kids should be allowed to be at baseball games without a coach yelling at them or other people," Kaylyn said.

Taylor said she was upset to hear McDowell say that kids don't belong in baseball parks.

"Children should not have to hear disgusting things they don't want to hear," she said.

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dvdbiggs 04/27/11 - 07:28 pm
This coach should be

This coach should be fired.......... He should not be allowed to represent a fantastic baseball team as the Atlanta Braves. He owes the children, parents and eveyone at the game an apology.

Riverman1 04/27/11 - 08:56 pm
Leo Mazzone is looking for a

Leo Mazzone is looking for a job.

dickworth1 04/28/11 - 03:20 am
Seems to me that SF has a lot

Seems to me that SF has a lot of issues with their fans, not excusing
McDowell, but remember what state SF is in and the liberal cry babies
that live there.

tmyboy6988 04/28/11 - 05:54 am
The Coaches action may have

The Coaches action may have went to far, but why aren't the fans that started the problem held accountable. Why didn't this parent say anything to the heckling fans when they started. We all know that when you heckle another team we always use kid friendly language, And what kind of legal action could be taken. He wasn't in any danger, he wasn't hurt, and last time I looked I can use what ever language I want in public. Sounds like this guy is just out for a payday, I don't mean a candy bar.

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