SAN DIEGO - San Diego Chargers radio announcer Hank Bauer has apologized for an on-air joke he made that many had viewed as anti-Semitic.
Bauer's joke came towards the end of the Chargers' preseason game against San Francisco on Sunday.
Bauer posted on his Twitter account:
I made a hurtful insinuation that I regret and I would like to express how sorry I am. My poor choice of words were unfortunately open for— Hank Bauer (@hank_bauer) August 26, 2014
negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners. I hope you accept my apology.— Hank Bauer (@hank_bauer) August 26, 2014
On Tuesday afternoon, the Chargers made the following announcement:
"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.
Hank has been a strong radio voice for the Chargers for the past 16 years and a passionate supporter of the team since his playing days. We look forward to Chargers fans receiving the same high-quality broadcast from Josh (Lewin) and Hank when he returns to the booth for the regular season."
Tammy Gillies with the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego issued a statement in response to Bauer's apology, saying that it was inadequate.
"Bauer's statement implies that a positive interpretation of his remarks exists; we disagree. While he clearly wants to put this incident behind him, we wish he had been courageous enough to take full ownership for his words."
Deadspin was the first to report about the comment. It was made after Bauer's on-air colleague Josh Lewin said that if he were a paying fan, he would not have left the game early because of the high cost of ticket licensing at the 49ers new stadium.
The following is a transcript of the exchange between Bauer and Lewin.
Lewin: There's a personal seat license you've got to pay for... I'd sit in it.
Bauer: No question…
Lewin: For a long time.
Lewin: For a long time. But a lot of these fans use that seat for about an hour today.
Bauer: But then again, you know how copper wire was invented? Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.
Lewin: OK, alright. We've got, let's see, 30 seconds mercifully remaining in this game.
Bauer: I say that respectfully and endearingly, my partner.
Lewin: Love you too, buddy.
The joke clearly left Lewin at a loss for words and did the opposite on Twitter. One user tweeted, "Hank Bauer is a disgusting bigot and the NFL is just as anti-Semitic for allowing this man to continue announcing."
Someone has since edited Bauer's page on Wikipedia to add, "During a preseason game in 2014, Bauer told an offensive 'Jew joke' towards broadcast partner Josh Lewin, yet Bauer is still employed."
Gillies told 10News on Tuesday, "I've had a lot of calls today … people are offended, they're hurt. I'm sure that wasn't the intention, but that was the actual outcome."
Do you think Bauer went too far with the comment? Weigh in on our poll below and let us know what you think.