The Houston Astros are facing a torrent of criticism after initially defending their assistant general manager from accusations he mocked female journalists, then apologizing and firing him abruptly.
Brandon Taubman was accused of mocking a group of female reporters by taunting them with a reference to one of the baseball club's players.
"Thank God we got Osuna! I'm so f***ing glad we got Osuna!" he is said to have yelled six times.
Pitcher Roberto Osuna was suspended and released from his team after charges of assault on the mother of his child. The Astros later signed him and he helped the Astros get to the World Series.
One of the female reporters was wearing a domestic-violence awareness bracelet during the interaction.
Initially, the Astros accused one of the reporters of fabricating "a story where one does not exist."
On Thursday, the team apologized in a statement and fired Taubman.
"Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter. We were wrong. We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct. The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence," the statement read.
"Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident. Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman's inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters. Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman's employment with the Houston Astros," the statement continued.
"His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action," the statement concluded.
The Astros are down two games in the World Series against the Washington Nationals.
Here's a local news report about the firing:
Houston Astros fire assistant GM Brandon Taubman for Osuna comments www.youtube.com