Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons has been fired for making a racially insensitive comment directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage on the air during Game 3 of the American League championship series.
As he worked Friday's American League Championship Series Game 3 with Lou Piniella, Lyons made a comment about not being able to find his wallet and not wanting to "sit too close" to Piniella.
The supposed relevance of that, assuming one is intent in finding logic in any of this? Piniella, who has a Hispanic heritage, had earlier compared the good play of a Hispanic player to the good luck of finding a wallet. And thus Lyons, who spoke of "habla-ing Espanol" after Piniella said a few words in Spanish, seemed to be suggesting a convoluted connection between Hispanics and stealing wallets.
Not true, Lyons said: "My joke was about a wallet. It had nothing to do with race. We were all laughing at the time. I'm being painted as a victimizer of Lou. At dinner later (with Fox announcers and production staffers), we all thought it was one of our better exchanges." (Sunday, Fox spokesman Dan Bell declined to respond to any of Lyons' comments.)
Midway through that dinner, Lyons said, he got a call from Fox saying he was off Saturday's ALCS Game 4, for which he was replaced by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota, who's worked 15-20 regular-season games for Fox
Lyons said “he believes people are taking a lot of liberty with what I said," and that “he was making a joke that had nothing to do with race;" that it's a "real stretch" to find racism in the on-air exchange that cost him his job, "and anybody who knows me knows it was the furthest from anything racist."