Houston Astros analyst Preston Wilson has apologized after making an ill-conceived reference to slavery during Saturday’s game broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Southwest.
Wilson, who played in the big leagues for 10 seasons, was commenting on the difficulty he had hitting sliders after Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber struck out American League MVP Jose Altuve in the first inning.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Wilson, who was serving as a sideline reporter/analyst during the broadcast, cut in with the following comment.
“I don’t know how you guys feel about it, Blummer and Baggy (speaking to fellow Astros analysts Geoff Blum and Jeff Bagwell), but for me, it was the slider. I can handle the fastball. I actually had somebody ask me if I could go back in history and change one thing, I skipped right over slavery and went to the slider. That’s how I feel about it.”
Wilson said he realized right away that he’d used poor judgment. On the broadcast, there were a few awkward chuckles from the booth before Wilson admitted he should have chosen his words differently.
He later added: “I realized that was selfish, so then after I thought about it, I was like, you know what, maybe I should change what I said, but that’s how hard it is to hit a slider in the big leagues.”
The Chronicle reports that Wilson offered a formal apology on his protected Twitter account.
“Earlier today I made a comment that may have offended people and for that I am sorry. What I said was inappropriate and not a reflection of the Houston Astros nor AT&T SportsNet.”
The Astros and AT&T SportsNet have yet to comment on Wilson’s commentary or his apology.
Wilson, 43, has done previous analyst work for the Miami Marlins and MLB Network. He appeared in 1,108 major league games, suiting up for the New York Mets, Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals, Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.
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