FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — A racially charged comment on a baseball field has gotten a State University of New York assistant baseball coach suspended.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Wednesday, the coach’s comments referenced an opposing player’s race for no apparent reason.
It was bottom of the eighth inning in a heated game on Saturday that saw underdogs St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn beating higher-ranked Farmingdale State. A live stream carried the action for fans.
Anthony Hernandez made it to third base. That’s when an assistant Farmingdale coach was heard heckling, “Way to go brown boy!”
The half-Black, half-Hispanic St. Joseph’s sophomore was astounded. He was too upset to speak about the incident, but his older brother wasn’t.
“Why was that said? That comment had nothing to do with baseball, so he is just kind of confused and hurt as to why it had to go there,” Samuel Hernandez said.
Samuel Hernandez considers the comment a racial insult. He said he is very upset with the situation.
“Heckling is part of the game, but, obviously, this comment crossed the line and I think it’s because people are accustomed to saying things about race in a derogatory manner,” said Elaine Gross, founder and president of the group Erase Racism.
Gross said she regularly receives complaints of racial comments in school sports.
“People are not really cognizant of how inappropriate this is. They don’t really understand about race and racism,” Gross said.
She applauded Farmingdale State for its quick and decisive actions. A spokesman said, “Farmingdale State College has suspended assistant baseball coach McCabe for one year without pay and will require he participate in counseling. The comments that were made are most inappropriate and do not reflect the college’s values and the standards we uphold in our community.”
Anthony Hernandez’s brother said he wants him fired.
“He’s not allowed to influence other college athletes ever again, considering that’s his mindset when being on the baseball field,” Samuel Hernandez said.
Farmingdale State also met with student-athletes and coaches and continues to do so. Anthony Hernandez’s family said he must now focus on finals and not this hurtful episode.
The coach in question declined CBS2’s request for comment.