While NBC Sports Chicago analyst Doug Glanville was doing a live hit during Cubs-Marlins at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, a fan leaned into the frame and flashed a white power gesture.
@Cubs @NBCSChicago Is this guy making a white power sign behind Doug Granville at Wrigley? pic.twitter.com/VrqngzL3Hy
— Mike Curtis (@MCLiterature) May 8, 2019
People on Twitter caught it quickly, as you’d expect:
This guy pic.twitter.com/gZmFar7apb
— Aaron (@MarsSixx) May 8, 2019
(Before we go further, yes, the gesture you’ve always considered to mean “OK” has been co-opted into a gesture reflecting white supremacy. In this specific context (on TV behind a black man) it’s even worse.)
The Cubs and Glanville have both released statements on the incident, with the Cubs seeking the identity of the fan in question so they can ban him from the stadium:
We are currently investigating an incident that occurred during the Cubs’ May 7 broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago while reporter Doug Glanville was on the air. An individual seated behind Mr. Glanville used what appears to be an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism.
Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field. We are reviewing the incident thoroughly because no one should be subjected to this type of offensive behavior.
Any derogatory conduct should be reported immediately to our ballpark staff. Any individual behaving in this manner will not only be removed from the ballpark, but will be permanently banned from Wrigley Field.
According to Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein on Wednesday, the fan will indeed be banned from Wrigley Field:
“The incident last night is truly disgusting,” he told reporters in the clubhouse before the game. “It gave me shivers to watch that, to see that take place at Wrigley Field. Appropriately, we’ve made clear how egregious and unacceptable that behavior is, and there’s no place for that in society, in baseball, and Wrigley Field. The person responsible for that gesture will never be welcomed back at Wrigley Field.”
Glanville, who played three seasons for the Cubs and spent nearly a decade as an ESPN analyst, also released a statement on the incident:
My statement regarding last night. @Cubs #Cubs @NBCSCubs @NBCSports @NBCSChicago https://t.co/W3reObcHLn pic.twitter.com/HLh3NXHMdX
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) May 8, 2019
I applaud the responsiveness of both the Chicago Cubs organization and NBC Sports in investigating this matter. They have reached out to me and are supportive of my role in the broadcast and continue to have a desire to uphold an inclusive environment at Wrigley Field. They have displayed sensitivity as to how the implications of this would affect me as a person of color.
This is obviously a disgusting incident, that neither Glanville nor anyone else should have to go through. The person in question shouldn’t be that tough to identify thanks to his willingness to put his face on TV, along with a few other shots of him on the broadcast:
— Aaron (@MarsSixx) May 8, 2019
The quick response is refreshing, especially considering the Cubs have had issues responding to their own disasters over the last few weeks.
UPDATE: The Cubs have apparently found and banned the fan in question.
The Cubs concluded that the fan in question used a racist hand symbol, banning him from the stadium. President of business operations Crane Kenney: "If he attempts to enter Wrigley Field or other ticketed areas he may be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass to property."
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) May 9, 2019