Fox Sports did not show Amy Schneider, a biological male wearing a dress, throw the first pitch during a baseball game in San Francisco. Instead, the sports channel decided to air a video of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch performing a ceremonial toss. This sparked outrage by critics on social media, but Schneider was apologized to and seems unaffected after the incident.
Schneider is an Oakland resident who won 40 consecutive “Jeopardy” games and is the show’s greatest female player, but is actually a biological male.
The odd omission took on even more significance because Schneider, the first transgender person to win “Jeopardy’s” Tournament of Champions, had performed in Oracle Park on a Pride Day.
Fox Sports did not show Schneider’s toss. Instead, the broadcaster focused on Busch tossing the ceremonial first pitch, which he did at Oracle Park prior to the Giants’ game against the Colorado Rockies.
'Jeopardy!' winner Amy Schneider unfazed by Fox Sports first pitch controversy https://t.co/tmKZUTKksj pic.twitter.com/gvHwpc2HYd
— New York Post (@nypost) June 20, 2022
Busch’s ceremonial toss was supposed to remind viewers that Fox would be broadcasting Sunday’s NASCAR race that will take place 40 miles north of Oracle Park at the Sonoma Raceway.
However, the positioning of the Busch footage led viewers to believe that he made the throw on Saturday rather than Schneider, even though it actually happened 48 hours earlier.
Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper informed viewers on NBC Sports Bay Area, “I wanted to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast. The broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which was not true.”
“It was Amy Schneider from ‘Jeopardy’ fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday,” Kuiper added. “So I just wanted to make sure she got due.”
NY Post added that the director of Fox Sports apologized: “The director of the broadcast at Fox Sports reached out to Schneider to apologize and reiterate that the situation had nothing to do with identity, TMZ reported, adding that Schneider accepted the network’s apology. ”
The Giants and Dodgers put their long-standing rivalry aside and wore rainbow-colored headgear.
Fox Sports representatives were hesitant to respond to numerous messages seeking comment from the channel.
Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of Outsports.com, believes that Fox should be given some slack.
“They showed the (scoreboard and other stadium signage) showing ‘Pride Day’ multiple times when they didn’t have to,” Zeigler said.
Zeigler expressed sympathy for the disappointed viewers but said he didn’t think there was any malice intended.
“Is this some moment of transphobia? No, that’s not how I read it,” Zeigler said. “It’s certainly unfortunate that it happened and it’s great the announcers the next day talked about it. But I’m not reading this as trying to erase the LGBT community. It’s embarrassing, it’s just stupid.”
Schneider seems unphased by the controversy, but expressed gratitude for the opportunity to pitch at Oracle Park.
In a statement issued by “Jeopardy,” she explained, “As a lifelong baseball fan, just getting the chance to walk out on the field, let alone throw out the first pitch, was a dream come true.”
“I also want to state for the record that in my practice session I was getting it over the plate about half the time, so that pitch did not represent the best that I can do!”