Fan claims Braves coach used gay slurs

Justin Quinn claims McDowell used homophobic slurs when addressing a group of fans during batting practice before last Saturday's Giants-Braves game
April 28, 2011 12:35:39 AM PDT
A Fresno man is demanding an apology for his family, for Giants fans, and for the city of San Francisco. Justin Quinn is outraged over what an Atlanta Braves pitching coach did during a weekend game, shouting gay slurs and making threatening gestures.

At San Jose's Municipal Stadium, ABC7 spoke with some fans at the Giants minor league baseball game. They were shocked by what happened and by what coach Roger McDowell allegedly said and implied here in the Bay Area.

Fans considered the San Francisco Giants game on Easter weekend to be Family Day at AT&T Park.

"Baseball is something that is dear to our lives," said Justin Quinn.

That's why Justin brought his twin daughters and as they watched batting practice, the Quinns say things went terribly wrong between Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and some Giants fans.

"Mr. Quinn heard Coach McDowell say to these men quote, 'Are you guys a homo couple or a three some?'" said attorney Gloria Allred. "At that point Justin shouted, 'Hey there are kids out here!' The coach replied, 'Kids don't F-ing belong at the baseball park!'"

Allred is representing the Quinns who also say McDowell threatened the 33-year-old father.

"He turned completely towards me, grabbed his bat and picked it up and asked me how much my teeth are worth to me," said Justin.

"I hope you never go to a baseball game where you are in a bad situation like I was," said Kylynn Quinn, 9 years old.

The Quinns say they are horrified by what happened and that the overall baseball culture needs to change. Those at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center community center agree.

"It's a little too macho, a little too much aggression involved in baseball right now," said Chris Flood, president of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center.

Even Quinn admits Giants fan Bryan Stow came to mind, especially when he saw McDowell pick up the baseball bat. Baseball fans, meantime, can't believe some of McDowell's comments.

"Baseball is for kids and I think it's something that's good for families," said Lance Wagner from Morgan Hill.

"I think it warrants an apology, some sort of apology," said Orlando Cabrera from San Jose.

In a statement McDowell says: "I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions."

The Quinns meantime, say they want McDowell to pay fines, take sensitivity training classes, and for Major League Baseball to investigate. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement saying that process has already started.


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