SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell apologized Wednesday in response to a fan’s complaint that McDowell spewed homophobic comments, made crude sexual gestures and threatened to knock out his teeth with a bat before the Braves played the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.

“I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday,” McDowell said in a statement. “I apologize to everyone for my actions.”

Justin Quinn, 33, of Fresno said he was in the stands at AT&T Park in San Francisco during pregame batting practice with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters when he noticed McDowell hectoring three men and asking them, “Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?” Quinn said he proceeded to make crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat.

Quinn, who was down in front of the field, then shouted, “Hey there are kids out here,” he said during a news conference at the Los Angeles office of noted attorney Gloria Allred.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Quinn alleged that the coach replied that kids don’t belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, “How much are your teeth worth?”

Quinn said he felt threatened and was unsure whether McDowell intended to hit him.

“My kids are in panic mode … they’re like grabbing onto me,” Quinn said. “I’m talking to him, trying to calm him down and the kids are screaming.”

Some parents who were in the stands with their children began to boo at McDowell and came down to retrieve their children. Quinn said that eventually McDowell walked away.

Quinn said he filed a complaint with Giants personnel and also with police but missed most of the game, although his wife and daughters stayed to see it.

Allred sent a letter Wednesday to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig asking that he launch an investigation and take “appropriate disciplinary action.” She also demanded that McDowell take sensitivity training.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said that even though McDowell has apologized, the Braves and Major League Baseball must take “real disciplinary action and send the message that anti-gay slurs have no place in sports.”

“Professional sporting events should be an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where children are exposed to violent threats and discriminatory language,” the alliance’s president, Jarrett Barrios, said.

Selig said the Braves assured his office that they will immediately investigate the allegations and report the results to him.

“Although I do not yet have all the facts regarding this incident, the allegations are very troubling to me,” Selig said in a statement. He said he will decide how to proceed after he gets all the facts.

Quinn’s children, Taylor and Kaylyn, said they were upset by McDowell’s remarks and actions.

“Kids should be allowed to be at baseball games without a coach yelling at them or other people,” Kaylyn said.

Taylor said she was upset to hear McDowell say that kids don’t belong in baseball parks.

“Children should not have to hear disgusting things they don’t want to hear,” she said.

Quinn said his family has not heard from the Braves or McDowell.

McDowell, who pitched for 12 years in the major leagues, issued his apology after the Braves beat the San Diego Padres 7-0 Wednesday afternoon.

McDowell was a star reliever with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and was a member of New York’s 1986 World Series-winning club. He was named Atlanta’s pitching coach in 2005.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (44)
  1. William says:

    The pitching coach sounds like a real GEORGIA PEACH

  2. G. says:

    So What! Get over it.The guy and his kids live in the 21st century? Don’t they

    1. proud_bay_man says:

      I wish he would have bullied your mother. Then you would be thinking a LOT differently.

  3. J says:

    I am a Giants fan.but Gloria Allred and baseball do not go together., Really? Man up, this is baseball, get over it.

    1. moonson63 says:

      You are an idiot by all means, Man up?? Really?.
      You and McDowell are a piece of trash.

  4. daryl says:

    C’mon, pitchers are lousy batters!

  5. OMG says:

    Are you kidding me?! Now Allred is out there someone just needs to make a buck I mean are they serious. I agree with G So what! Get over it…

  6. Farmer Joetwo says:

    i like how the wife stayed with the kids to watch the game while he filed his complaint. I know who wears the pants in that family.

  7. v.b. says:

    really? things have become soooooooo absurd, it likes like play # 23 out of the pc manual. all these people need a life. get over it

  8. proud_bay_man says:

    All who are saying, “get over it,” I am sure you are the ones with the kids doing all of the bullying in schools. What a disgusting comment.

  9. long-time fan says:

    What McDowell did was out of line – especially directing it toward the stands and kids. He’s a veteran and a coach – he should can it. Fans can be ejected for offensive language (even though most of the time it’s just annoying, not deliberately offensive, like this).

    McDowell has every right to be the pig that he apparently is, but he needs to keep it in his personal life and off the diamond. Reminds me of John Rocker, another pitcher from Atlanta, and a MAJOR pig. Barry Bonds is a lot of things, but never was vulgar toward fans at a game, like these two clowns. In baseball you get criticized for the smallest infractions of morality – hate to see creeps like McDowell or Rocker get away with being a-holes at the kiddies.

    I am a single mom and let me tell you, I appreciate how Quinn let his wife and kids watch the game. Ain’t about wearing pants – he sacrificed. He is reponsible AND thoughtful. Good move, dad.

  10. long-time fan says:

    But Gloria Allred? I agree — overkill!

  11. Fairness says:

    I won’t start to defend the coach if what he said and did is accurate. Let’s not forget, however, the responsibility of the FANS to act responsible themselves! I’ve heard the worst things said to coaches and players from the stands/seats. If you wouldn’t say it to this individual (without law enforcement and an attorney at your side) on the street then you shouldn’t pretend to be 10′ tall and say it from the anonymity of the crowd. Otherwise, the coach/player should be able to whip your ass for talking trash just like on the street!! Pretend to be civilized, even if you ain’t!

    1. nick says:

      you say you don’t want to defend the coach, yet the rest of your drivel is simply a defense of the coach – instead of sticking up for your boyfriend who is SUCH a wuss he can’t fight with his bare hands … try justifying him hating innocent kids as in his own words “KIDS DON”T BELONG AT F-ing GAMES” – that kind of hate is what you support? take your boyfriend and that bat-it’s about the only long hard stick either of you will ever handle.

  12. JaneQPublic says:

    There is NO EXCUSE for the vulgar display and abusive remarks from this coach. He should be BANNED for LIFE from ever coaching again. His apology isn’t worth spit.

    Baseball is supposed to be an American tradition and safe for FAMILIES to attend together. This jerk isn’t worthy of being in a ballpark, let alone coaching.

  13. DaniX2 says:

    I’m not a fan of Gloria Allred but she does have some pull! Whose to say if she didn’t get involved, that anything would come of this? The coach only apologized after being contacted (I’m guessing) by Mr. Selig. He does need more of a punishment that just a slap on the wrist by way of a public apology.

  14. HooDatIS? says:


    1. Baseball and Apple Pie says:

      Relax…. Remember the old saying , “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?” Seriously why is it that a stranger saying bad things affects so many ? When I dont know or respect someone talking to me I don’t care what they have to say.

      1. Who Cares says:

        I don’t care what they have to say even if I do know them.

  15. Baseball and Apple Pie says:

    I teach lessons to my children by talking to them about the issue not by filing a complaint that will escalate the problem. And if my wife and kids feel threatened and scared I don’t leave them alone so I can go file some paperwork , I stay with them.

    1. proud_bay_man says:

      I bet it would be a completely different comment if it was your wife and kids. Men are so weak. What a pathetic father you are. Your kids learn nothing but ignorance. Period.

  16. Craven Morehead says:

    This fan is gutless. Yeah, leave your wife and kids while you cry to management. What a putz!

    1. marco says:

      You bigots don’t like it when people speak up for themselves and their families. It threatens you.

  17. JaneQPublic says:

    Excuse me????

    This is not only words, but a threat of imminent physical attack with the apparent means of carrying it out (a bat = a club) – against an unarmed person.
    What many of you don’t get is that this IS a legal issue – it is called ASSAULT.

    The perp McDowell should have been arrested! Just because he is a ‘coach’ does NOT give him carte blanche to threaten anyone with bodily harm. Good for the fan who was the ONLY one – apparently – who was man enough to handle this in a non-violent yet effective manner. THAT is a lesson not only for the children, but one which a number of males on this board could benefit from.

  18. McD says:

    Maybe McDowell needs a baseball bat slammed up next to his teeth….Children DO belong in a baseball park, I’ll be that moron went when he was a child……this Bozo needs to be fired immediately, PS I am straight, people don’t need this type of treatment, it is none of McDowell’s business what the 3 folks do…….

    1. proud_bay_man says:

      Thank you for saying that. : )

  19. tk says:

    If action is as described it is criminal act……

  20. rabco says:

    Come on people! I have seen hecklers use vulgar language at the players as well. Professional ball player are especially responsible, to hold a professional etiquette in the public eye. What does heckling teach our children? That this is O.K.?
    Mmm… something to think about our behavior? Our behavior starts with ourselves.

  21. JQP says:

    This sort of behavior and language does not just come out of nowhere. I will bet money that this coach has made similar abusive remarks to his team – which may just have some gay players. Likewise, I doubt his bullying abuse is reserved just for the public. Pity his wife and kids – if he has any.

    1. nick says:

      exactly-the only difference is this time he got caught

    2. proud_bay_man says:

      His kids are probably bullying kids in their schools.

  22. Adam Reeder says:

    “There’s no crying in baseball! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL”

    – Tom Hanks

  23. MrBluster says:

    HECKLING? I do believe I know what heckling is as opposed to threatening to relieve someone of their teeth!

  24. nick says:

    exactly how many times a day do you fantasize about men having sex with men, mr mcdowell? as far as your personal hatred of children – tell your boss – the atlanta braves’ website proudly promotes a ‘family value plan’ – or is that your ‘value’ – hatred?

  25. G. says:


  26. Tebor says:

    Uncool of McDowell but there’s something unwholesome about Quinn. We’ve all met his type: diminutive, insecure wannabe. He’s the guy you knew in 3rd grade who always wanted to compete but never could, so consequently channels his anger and negativity toward those he secretly admires. Classic limelighter. Poor role model to his kids.

  27. Ron says:

    Just another gay simpathizer cry baby liberal adding to the “PUSSIFICATION” of these great coun try once known as The United Staes of America.

    1. Ron says:

      Just another gay simpathizer cry baby liberal adding to the “PUSSIFICATION” of this great country once known as THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA.