MLB Broadcaster Jim Kaat Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ On-Air Comment

In Summary

Major League Baseball broadcaster Jim Kaat has apologized for using the term "40-acre" while speaking about a player's ability. 

MLB Network analyst and former pitcher Jim Kaat has apologized for a term he used during a game Friday which referenced slavery.  

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According to CNN, Kaat says he was trying to compliment Cuban player Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox at Friday’s playoff game against the Houston Astros. When Kaat’s broadcasting partner Buck Showalter praised Moncada’s ability, he said, “Can we have one of those?” Kaat responded by saying, “Get a 40-acre field full of ’em.”  

During the game’s fifth inning, he apologized for his comment, saying, “Earlier in the game, when Yoan Moncada was at the plate, in an attempt to compliment the great player that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in an insensitive and hurtful remark,” he said. “And I’m sorry for that.”  

The term Kaat used comes from “40 acres and a mule,” which was a signature phrase after the Civil War. Union leaders held a meeting with Black ministers and Major General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered thousands of Black families to receive “40 acres and a mule.” According to The Washington Post, this was later referred to as the first act of reparations for formerly enslaved Black Americans.  

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If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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