Baltimore Orioles executive Louis (left) and John Angelos attend a pregame ceremony before the game against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

While mindlessly scrolling TikTok on Tuesday, I was served a video by LVWorkshop (real name Bryan Kleiner), a foul-mouthed Lehigh Valley-based woodworker who has a lot of thoughts on the state of the world. The video was about how he saw a connection between three recent world events that appear to be wholly disconnected from one another.

First, the OceanGate submarine full of extremely rich people that imploded en route to the Titanic in June. Second, 81-year-old Senator Mitch McConnell’s freezing episode during a press conference in July. And third, the “Battle of Montgomery” in which a group of white boaters attacked a Black security guard and got their butts handed to them over the weekend.

“All three of these things, I think, point towards a shift in our cultural conscience that was sort of catalyzed by the pandemic and social media,” Kleiner says.


Im trying to make more stuff like this and im still figuring out the backdrop and all that stuff. #politics #morals #norms #politicaldiscourse #fyp

♬ original sound – LVworkshop

What he’s referring to isn’t so much the facts of those three events, but rather the larger reaction to them. In each case, there was an outsized reaction of either humor or delight taken in what would traditionally be considered incidents that call for somber reflection and respectful concern. However, we as a society, especially those of us not in a position of authority, power, or wealth, have realized that we don’t need to hold ourselves to those kinds of social mores anymore when those in power have made it clear they certainly don’t.

“I can’t speak for other countries, but in the United States, we were raised with this broad sense of norms and values that we uphold. Not just the big stuff like don’t kill and don’t murder, but, how we were supposed to conduct ourselves in public and what was good and what was bad behavior.

“…So when the pandemic happened, those sort of norms and values that we were raised with, they would dictate that we shut everything the **** down and we take care of everyone’s life, from the oldest person to the most immunocompromised person. But what we saw was the people that taught us those values go, ‘Eh, **** that, the economy’s more important.’ And I think that was a tipping point for a lot of people to start deconstructing those morals and values that we were raised with.”

“I think that it would be pretty easy for the hegemony to quell these ideas. But what happened is we have social media and we have a forum, and so we went on that forum and we started to voice these things, and we started to realize that we weren’t by ourselves having aberrant behavior, but we were collectively experiencing these things.

“And so that same thought process of questioning our cultural norms and beliefs and the things that we were raised with, I think are really influencing how we’re seeing those 3 world events that I talked about in the beginning. Because according to our traditional societal way that we should view things, you should never laugh at a bunch of billionaires that get destroyed in a submarine. But like, maybe it’s okay to find some sense of poetic justice. And watching a bunch of modern-day Ahabs get turned into ****ing tomato paste because of their arrogance.

And like, McConnell had that health episode. And you should never laugh at someone who has a health episode. But Mitch McConnell is a disgustingly corrupt piece of **** politician that has probably negatively affected the lives of millions of Americans. And maybe that health episode is something that we can point to and be like, you are way too ****ing old to be in the position that you’re in right now.”

I’m not here to prove his point or anything. But I could not separate what he was talking about in that video from the situation currently happening around the Baltimore Orioles and their play-by-play announcer Kevin Brown.

As Awful Announcing reported on Monday, Brown was removed from the TV booth after the July 23 game between the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays after he factually described how Baltimore had not performed well against the Rays in recent seasons but was in the midst of a positive run against their American League East rivals. The benign comments apparently miffed billionaire John Angelos, Chairman and CEO of the team and son of owners Peter and Georgia Angelos, who personally made the call to remove Brown, according to The Athletic.

By Monday afternoon, the baseball world and sports media world were apoplectic with the thin-skinned decision, with Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay calling out the team for a “disgraceful” decision and calling Angelos a “small man.” By Monday evening, several Major League Baseball broadcasters were publically condemning the O’s and Angelos, including Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen, who said the franchise “draped itself in utter humiliation.”

The criticism remained a constant on Tuesday as fans and media members peppered the Orioles with shame, culminating in a “Free Kevin Brown” chant at Tuesday evening’s game in Camden Yards.

The only other constant in this entire ordeal has been the Orioles’ and Angelos’ silence and refusal to admit their error. Both Awful Announcing and The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli can attest that team representatives were fierce in their denial that a suspension had taken place but did not offer any other explanation for why Brown has been MIA, only to say that he would “be back with us in the near future” (Friday, April 11, apparently). They didn’t feel the need to clarify further.

No one from the team or management has made a comment about Brown, nor has the team released any official statements, in spite of the absolute tsunami of criticism in their direction. The current Orioles broadcast team made no mention of Brown in his absence, which we’ve come to realize is because they are almost certainly under strict orders not to, for fear of similar retribution from above.

The message from Angelos, directly or indirectly, is that he doesn’t care. It hurt his feelings that Brown mentioned factual information in passing and that’s a crime worthy of this time out so that he can learn a valuable lesson. Never mind that, quite literally, EVERYONE agrees this was a terrible, shortsighted, callous, and thin-skinned decision.

Seriously, can you find anyone arguing in favor of the Orioles right now? The only people who have even come close are the ones who watch the video of Brown speaking and find themselves unable to come to terms with how they could lead to such a punishment.

Surely, Brown also did something bad we don’t yet know about, they assumed. Surely, there’s a logical reason for needing to remove the voice of the franchise for a noticeable amount of time. Surely, there’s a reasonable explanation.

I think the thing they’re missing, or at least were missing until they realized the truth, is what Kleiner was getting at in that video. We live in a place where the specific norms and values instilled in us tell us there is fairness in this world. A bedrock right and wrong that bears out. But what has truly been driven home to us these past few years, and one could argue these past few decades, is that powerful, wealthy people have no sense of fairness. They have no sense of right and wrong. They only see the world as something that should bend to their will.

John Angelos seems to believe that he is owed something by Kevin Brown. By Orioles fans. By the rest of us.

But he isn’t. He isn’t owed anything simply because he was born rich. He doesn’t deserve anything because he was lucky enough to be born into power and wealth. He didn’t do anything to get where he was that any other schmuck with the same luck couldn’t have done.

In spite of the unanimous sense that he is wrong here, he’ll never see it. He can’t believe that. He has to cling to the notion that his wants and needs supersede everyone else, including Kevin Brown, who is by all accounts a kind and genuine human being. Otherwise, what value does he actually have, and what reason do we have to respect him?

Angelos seems to be under the impression that he feels he deserves the benefit of the doubt that this was the right move for the Baltimore Orioles. Everyone else has made it clear they will not grant him that.

As Kleiner said in his video, it feels like something has shifted in our collective consciousness. It’s not as though we thought people like Angelos were good before the pandemic. Far from it. But right now, there’s something in the air that allows all of us to know for sure that people like him don’t deserve any sympathy or respect simply because we were all raised to be “nice.”


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to