San Diego Chargers announcer Hank Bauer will not call the play-by-play for the last game of the football team’s preseason Thursday, the result of a one-day suspension he received after uttering an anti-Semitic joke live on the air last weekend.
A long-time announcer for the team, Bauer, 60, let loose the anti-Semitic remark, directed against his Jewish co-host Josh Lewin, at the end of a Sunday pre-season exhibition game by the Chargers against the San Francisco 49ers broadcast live on KIOZ 105.3.
Bauer quickly smoothed over the incident (and later apologized via Twitter) by saying that it was done “respectfully and endearingly,” but the incident was picked up by a less-amused sports blog Deadspin, the San Diego ABC affiliate, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.
Lewin had remarked that many personal seat ticket-holders had left the stadium early, but that given the high costs involved, he would be sure to “sit in it…for a long time” in order to get his money’s worth, and then Bauer said there was “no question” that Lewin would get the maximum out of his seat, and added: “But then again, you know how copper wire was invented? Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”
Lewin replied, a bit awkwardly, “OK, alright. We’ve got, let’s see, 30 seconds mercifully remaining in this game.”
Bauer quickly added: “I say that respectfully and endearingly, my partner.”
“Love you too, buddy,” Lewin replied, who did not seem personally put off by Bauer’s comments.
Immediately after the broadcast a bevy of Twitter users were up in arms over the incident, and some called for Bauer’s resignation.
Bauer quickly apologized for this remarks:
On Tuesday, faced with a growing backlash over the incident, the Chargers issued a formal statement and said that he would receive the one-day suspension as a result, and sit out the Charger’s preseason match against the Arizona Cardinals.
“Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remarks, we agree the comments were inappropriate. Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game,” the team said.