MLB announcer taking leave after controversial comments

A former professional baseball player and manager now serving as a television analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks is taking a voluntary leave of absence after comments he made about a player's head covering sparked backlash.

"Pretty sure that's the same do-rag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets," analyst Bob Brenly said in reference to Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman during a broadcast of Tuesday's game between the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks.

After the game, Stroman said the remark smacked of "racist undertones." 

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In a statement issued Thursday, Brenly apologized for the comment and said he would take time away from the broadcast booth while he undergoes sensitivity training. 

"I want to apologize again for my insensitive reference on Wednesday, as it does not reflect my values or who I am," Brenly said. "Beginning today, I have voluntarily decided to take some time off to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion to enhance my understanding and appreciation of others. I plan to return to the booth next homestand, hopefully a better person."

ESPN reported Diamondbacks pitcher Jon Duplantier, who is Black, said he also took exception with Brenly's remark. 

"The most disappointing part is that, though there has been a ton of progress and work done so that I, Marcus and other guys that look like me can show up as authentically as ourselves and be ourselves in a big stage, comments like the one that was made, they put us back,'' Duplantier said. "They put that progress back."