During ESPN broadcast of the National League wild-card game between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, Brooks Marlow, a 23-year-old minor leaguer, tweeted: “No lady needs to be on ESPN talking during a baseball game ’specially [Jessica] Mendoza.” Marlow, a second baseman for the Class A Lancaster JetHawks, has since deleted the tweet and made his account private.
Marlow, a 29th-round draft pick by the Astros in 2015, was referring to Jessica Mendoza, who was hired by ESPN to call “Sunday Night Baseball” after the network removed Curt Schilling from its broadcasts during the 2015 baseball season.
Mendoza is a former Stanford all-American and a gold and silver medalist with Team USA softball. She’s been with ESPN since 2007, when she was hired as the network’s lead softball analyst. During last year’s AL wild-card game, Mendonza became ESPN’s first female analyst in MLB postseason history when she was in the booth for the matchup between the Astros and Yankees. She was also the first female to call the NCAA baseball’s College World Series for ESPN in 2015.
And she’s certainly no stranger to criticism, as a broadcaster or as a woman.
From Rolling Stone:
It’s not unusual for Mendoza’s Twitter mentions to include comments about wanting to hurt her, or saying things such as, “It’s like nails on a chalkboard listening to a female voice on television.” And while she says she initially found the insults laughable, it got to the point where she had to stop looking at her Twitter mentions at times. She understands if people disagree with something she says on air, because that comes with her job. But the people that express a desire to physically harm her in some way, are the ones she finds baffling. And her response isn’t what you might expect. She wants to meet these haters, she admits. “I want to talk to them and be like, ‘Why do you hate me so much?’ I want to sit down with them and I want them to look me in the face and tell me that.”
Marlow issued an apology, also on Twitter, shortly after deleting his tweet, writing, “I need to apologize for my tweet earlier regarding Jessica Mendoza. It was inappropriate, insensitive and does not reflect who I am.”
The Astros organization forwarded a screenshot of the tweet to several news outlets and issued an apology of their own on Twitter.
While sexist remarks are sure to continue, on Wednesday, Mendonza received plenty of compliments for her call of the Mets-Giants play-in game.