Camden Yards erupts in 'free Kevin Brown' chant in support of suspended Orioles broadcaster

Kevin Brown's plight has become a movement.

News broke Monday that the Baltimore Orioles had reportedly suspended their play-by-play man because he acknowledged — accurately — that the team wasn't very good in recent seasons. In the 24 hours since, a groundswell of support has surfaced in support of Brown being reinstated to his position.

On Tuesday, it extended to the stands of Camden Yards, where the first-place Orioles were hosting the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros. During the seventh inning of the high-profile game broadcast nationally on TBS, an unmistakable chant broke out in the crowd.

"Free Kevin Brown! Free Kevin Brown!"

TBS play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson acknowledged the chant.

"And the chants of 'free Kevin Brown' raining down. The Orioles television play-by-play announcer. I love this fan base standing behind their announcer.

"If you don't know the story, Kevin Brown made some extremely benign comments. Was not even critical. But somebody in upper management — many believe it is the owner — made a decision to take him off the air."

Orioles fans showed up Tuesday night supporting play-by-play announcer Kevin Brown. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Orioles fans showed up Tuesday night supporting play-by-play announcer Kevin Brown. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Astros broadcast likewise acknowledged the chant. Per multiple social media accounts, the Orioles' home broadcast on MASN did not.

The chant wasn't the only show of support for Brown at Camden Yards. Fans showed up with signs expressing the same sentiment.

How did things get here?

Brown hasn't been on the air calling Orioles games since July 26. According to multiple reports Monday, he's suspended by Orioles management for comments he made during a pregame segment ahead of a July 23 game against the Tampa Bay Rays. These are the comments that reportedly got him suspended.

“It's been a minute," Brown said of the Orioles finding success on the road against the Rays. "The Orioles split a two-gamer with the Rays in June. They had lost their last 15 series here at Tropicana Field. You have to go back to when our now-colleague Brad Brach picked up the win in the series finale June 25, 2017 — the last time the Orioles won a series here in St. Pete.

"Already gone 3-2 at the Trop this year after winning three of 18 the previous three years combined."

That's it. Brown simply acknowledged Baltimore's poor record against Tampa Bay in recent seasons that have included four last-place AL East finishes in six years. He didn't bad-mouth management. He didn't criticize the team. He simply cited stats that were available via accompanying TV graphics and echoed in the game notes that day provided by Orioles public relations.

“The Orioles have won three of the first five games at The Trop this season after winning three of the 21 games played in St. Petersburg from 2020-22,” the July 23 game notes read, per The Athletic.

The Athletic also reports that the Orioles suspended Brown because ownership thought his comments made the team sound cheap. Peter Angelos is the majority owner of the Orioles.

Following the reports, the Orioles acknowledged the undeniable fact that Brown has been off the air. They also denied that he'd been suspended while teasing his return.

“We don’t comment on personnel matters,” an Orioles official told Awful Announcing, adding, “we look forward to hearing Kevin’s voice soon.”

The news broke Monday afternoon. By Monday night, broadcasters across the league voiced their support for Brown and distaste for his reported suspension. Mets announcer Gary Cohen was perhaps the most biting in his criticism.

"The Baltimore Orioles organization draped itself in utter humiliation with their treatment of one of their young broadcasters, a guy named Kevin Brown, who is one of the great young talents in broadcasting and this game." Cohen said. ... "Let me just say one thing to Baltimore Orioles management. You draped yourself in humiliation when you fired Jon Miller. And you're doing it again. And if you don't want Kevin Brown, there are 29 other teams who do."

By Tuesday night, Orioles fans were well aware of the situation and made their voices heard on a nationally broadcast game.

There are reports that Brown will return to the airwaves on Friday. Before then, the Orioles have two more home games against the Astros following Houston's dramatic 7-6 win on Tuesday. The stands should continue to be packed for the potential playoff preview. That could mean more vocal demands from Orioles fans in the coming days.