Casey Stern has founded Operation ExHale to help families protect children from abuse.

When Andrew Marchand of The New York Post broke the news in September that Ernie Johnson was replacing Casey Stern as TBS’ MLB postseason studio show host, that news came with the detail that Stern was “dealing with a real life situation as his ex-wife and her boyfriend have been charged with nine felonies of cruelty to children in Fulton County Court for allegedly abusing Stern’s three kids, who are all six and under.” A month later, Stern has spoken about that alleged abuse in more detail to Marchand, and also discussed the new Operation ExHale foundation he’s launched (website seen above) “with the hopes of raising both awareness and money, to assist families in desperate need of help protecting their children from the horrors of child abuse.”

Marchand’s piece has a lot of detail on Stern’s comments of what his kids allegedly endured from his ex-wife and her boyfriend, who are facing significant charges (four counts of second-degree child cruelty and six counts of reckless endangerment for Stern’s ex-wife, five counts of first-degree child cruelty for her boyfriend). Trials in those cases haven’t taken place yet, and attorneys for Stern’s ex-wife and her boyfriend either declined comment to the Post or couldn’t be reached, so the piece is worth reading with the context that it is just Stern’s comments on a pending case. But it does carry a lot of disturbing allegations, and it does illustrate what’s been going on with Stern (who has continued to host his daily “Inside Pitch” show with Brad Lidge on Sirius XM’s MLB Network Radio, and is still under contract with Turner, but hasn’t been doing much for them lately).

The full piece is worth a read, but it’s perhaps particularly notable to pass on what Stern said about what this battle has cost him. Those costs come in both time (the alleged abuse began in December 2018 and continued through September 2019, but arrest warrants weren’t issued until this February) and money (an estimated $130,000 so far on forensic evaluations, doctors, guardians, lawyers and therapists). And Stern told Marchand that this has motivated him to speak out and start this foundation to try and help other families who don’t have his resources.

You can’t even say hello to the forensic psychologist as the parent without $2,500,” Stern said. “Then you have to pay for everything. The therapy appointments have cost me thirty grand. People don’t have that money. I don’t have that money.

“What are they going to do? Even now, in COVID, if a kid was going to tell a teacher, he doesn’t see any teachers. These kids can’t go do anything. There is nobody for them to tell.”

Casey knows this whole story is something that he could keep private and tuck away as a secret, and that was a consideration.

But his children inspired him as they have spoken out courageously about what allegedly happened to them. To borrow a phrase from his field, Casey thinks he is up.

“It is my turn to talk about how proud I am of them,” Casey says. “And be willing to step out of the background and tell the people that I’m afraid to tell. The people who are the public, who judge me every day. The people I’m afraid of that I’m not afraid anymore. That’s why.”

Here’s more from the foundation website:

Many of the parents in this situation, are faced with an impossible task. It takes an exorbitant amount of money paid out to lawyers, guardians, and doctors, to even get “the system” to listen. 

Even when they do, while you are literally struggling to breathe, out of fear for your child’s safety, they are struggling to find time in the calendar to fit you in, outside of the “Every 60 days we will take your money” routine.

Unequivocally, this “Family Law” aspect of our Justice System is supposed to be predicated on the “best interest” of the children. We are not going to stop until we take “supposed to” and turn it into “IS!”

We intend to raise money for the families currently going through this, to get their kids to safety as soon as possible, and to raise awareness at the state and government level to affect change nationwide. 

That website has donation options up, and it also mentions future planned telethons, 5-kilometer runs, and a “Strike Out The Silence” softball fundraiser with MLB players. We’ll see what’s ahead for Stern and this foundation. But it’s certainly notable to see him talking about what’s been going on with his kids, and using his profile to try and help others.

[The New York Post, Operation ExHale, Inc]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.