Atlanta Braves Pitching Coach Roger McDowell Put on Administrative Leave as Team Investigates Alleged Anti-Gay Incident

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was placed on administrative leave today over allegations by attorney Gloria Allred and a father of two girls earlier this week that McDowell had made anti-gay slurs and used vulgar gestures simulating anal sex.

Mcdowell TMZ reported that in addition to asking a group of male fans "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?," McDowell allegedly made anti-gay gestures:

Mega-attorney Gloria Allred announced the allegations moments ago in a news conference — representing a family of four (including two 9-year-old girls) who claim they watched McDowell make the homophobic remark and then use a baseball bat to simulate gay sex.

According to Allred, the family claims they also witnessed McDowell tell the group of male fans, "Are you three giving it to each other in the a**?"

The AP reports:

The former major league reliever apologized in a statement, but the team barred him from the bench heading into a three-game series against St. Louis.

The Braves’ minor league pitching coordinator, Dave Wallace, will take over for McDowell during the investigation. Major League Baseball has said it’s waiting to hear from the team before deciding on possible penalties.

Atlanta general manager Frank Wren planned to address the media before tonight’s game.

Said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios in a statement responding to today's announcement from the Braves: “It remains to be seen whether the Atlanta Braves will take real disciplinary action and send a clear message that there is no place for anti-gay remarks or violent threats in baseball. The Braves and Major League Baseball should follow the NBA and WWE by speaking out in support of gay and lesbian baseball fans and players around the country, and by taking steps to make the sport a safe place for everyone.”


  1. Paul R says

    It really has become Another day, another homophobic slur by a celebrity—whether athlete, politician, or what have you.

    It amazes me that even stupid bigots don’t realize how much they can screw up their massive paychecks by revealing their ignorance.

  2. says

    Don’t judge on one episode in a baseball player’s distinguished career as a pitcher and coach. We all make mistakes and he apologized for his. I find it ironic, that the man who hired a lawyer, claimed he was protecting his children,actually recreated the purported incident in front of his own kids… I found that disturbing. I have known Roger, and I have never seen him make obscene or anti-gay gestures or insult any fan. He deserves a second chance. I just might ask him to sit with me on Out @ the Ball Park takes place in Chicago in Sept. at
    Wrigley Field.

  3. Morgan says

    No way, fire him. It’s one thing when Kobe says “faggot” or someone says “that’s gay”; these words, while hurtful, have lost a lot of the punch and meaning they used to have. It’s quite another thing when someone asks if you are a homosexual in a derogatory way and simulates sexual acts in front of a large crowd in public. Jerry, maybe you are forgiving because you’re a fan. To me, using a slur is going up to the line, simulating sex acts and directly targeting someone is crossing it. And to do this in front of a crowd, knowing there are families with children watching is just plain stupidity. Fire him and replace him with someone who wants to be there and can leave their personal hang-ups at home. If you’re playing for the love of the game, then you wouldn’t dishonor it.

  4. Danny says

    the more incidents of this type the better: these throwback jackasses are learning, one person at a time, that the(ir) day of fag-bashing is done. That dog just won’t hunt no more.

  5. Frederick says

    In regards to Jerry Pritikin’s comment in defense of McDowell’s anti-gay tirade, I respectfully disagree. A strong message needs to be sent to other anti-gay coaches & athletes, and homophobic people in general that this type of bigoted behavior simply will not be tolerated. There need to be concrete consequences for his actions; personally, I truly feel he should be terminated. Anyone who carried on like this, while on the clock, in any major corporation in the U.S. would be fired for this kind of outrageous behavior. McDowell should be no exception. Lastly, I would like to share something my grandmother used to say, when someone did something like McDowell did…”When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice”…which means when you see someone get furious, their true feelings come out.

  6. says

    For those who disagree,you over look the fact that Roger McDowell has been a MLB player and coach for 25 years. He made a mistake and he apologized. One mistake and to over look the facts that he has a great reputation for entertaining fans of all kinds, including gays like myself. If I did not know him, I might make the same mistake to judge his career on this one moment out of 25 years. However… I took the time to complain about a couple of ballplayers in the past. John Rocker of the Braves and Julian Taverez of the Cubs who had bad reputations as hot-heads and were prejudice, and they deserved the rathe of the fans, gay and straight. I wrote letters to newspapers and outed myself to the sports media and the Commissioner of Baseball. Those players were scum. Roger Mc Dowell had a lapse of Judgment… but put in context. I am making an effort to ask Roger to sit with me this coming September for OUT day at Wrigley Field. I have also recommended he make contribution to the S.F. Harvey Milk Academy and the Atlanta Gay Community. But for those who want to have him fired are wrong. I’m supporting Roger, not because he is a friend, but because I know him as a good guy, who made a mistake.

  7. Morgan says

    So it’s forgivable to simulate sex acts in front of crowds with children and clearly target gays? I’m sorry, when you’re in a public forum, you don’t get to make mistakes like that. What if he had made derogatory comments to a group of blacks, Jews, or Asians? I can forgive after his punishment, but he needs to know what he did was wrong and hurtful, and realize the severity of it. He acted in an unprofessional, irresponsible way, hurting his job performance and he has to accept that.

    Lapse in judgement? This whole country is always falling back to that same excuse when they get called out on it, and it’s time for people to just fall on their own swords and admit that they really meant what they said/did. They can ask for forgiveness, but don’t expect me to believe that you didn’t mean it at the time. Because asking me to believe that is like calling me stupid on top of the original insult.

  8. Paul R says

    Saying that a mistake has to be forgiven because someone has had a long career really makes no sense. If he’d done this 25 years ago, no one would have cared. It’s a different world today, and he should know that if he’s such a great guy.

    Saying no harm, no foul just because he apologized is like accepting an apology with no punishment to someone who says, “Look, I’ve been driving 25 years, so I should get a pass on having too much to drink and injuring someone while I was driving home.”

    Obviously the magnitude of the offense is different, and I’m not necessarily saying he should be fired. But saying, Oh we should just let this slide because he apologized? Not enough. EVERYONE apologizes—they have to for the sakes of theirs careers and any organizations they represent. Name one celebrity who hasn’t been called out for a homophobic remark in the past 10+ years who hasn’t later issued a public apology, no matter how tepid. And I don’t give a crap where he sits during some future game.

  9. says

    Its amazing. I thought that this kind of behavior does not exist any more in professional sports.

    To me, using a slur is going up to the line, simulating sex acts and directly targeting someone is crossing it. And to do this in front of a crowd, knowing there are families with children watching is just plain stupidity. Fire him and replace him with someone who wants to be there and can leave their personal hang-ups at home. If you’re playing for the love of the game, then you wouldn’t dishonor it.

    Paul Angelo