June 7, 2017

Strike 2: Remy Is Sorry ... That People Felt His Comments Were Offensive

NESN's broadcast of Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees game began with a second apology from Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy, regarding comments he made the previous night about foreign-born players needing translators. (Remy had first apologized for his comments via Twitter.)
Last night, during the course of the Red Sox-Yankees game, I made some comments that offended a number of people in our audience. I'd like to apologize to my colleagues at NESN, to the Boston Red Sox, but, most importantly, to the fans who were offended by my comments. I sincerely hope you accept my apologies. Thank you very much.
That's a big swing and a miss - for strike two.

Let's look at the core of Remy's two statements:

First: "I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments ..."

Second: "I made some comments that offended a number of people ... I'd like to apologize ... to [those people] who were offended by my comments."

Remy has yet to acknowledge that his comments, which offended a lot of people, were actually offensive. The only descriptions he offers of what he said on the air are "my comments" or "some comments". Remy does not retract anything he said, and he doesn't offer any clarification of his words. All he does is admit that during Tuesday's broadcast, he made "some comments".

Remy notes that "a number of people" found those comments offensive. He doesn't agree or disagree with that characterization; he gives no opinion on whether his words were offensive or not. (As he remarked during the broadcast, "That's just me".)

But Remy wants us to know that he's "sincerely" sorry that those offended people felt the way they did. Now, obviously, Remy has no control over anyone's feelings, so offering his apologies, however sincere they may be, for a listener's emotions doesn't make any sense.

Please note that Remy doesn't say he is sorry for offending these people - that would mean admitting that his comments were offensive, which, it seems clear at this point, he is refusing to do - only that he is sorry they were offended, which, again, is something he cannot control. Remy didn't fall back on the old "if some people were offended" line, but he hasn't strayed too far from it.

Now that Remy has issued two statements, I'm sure that this matter is over and will fade away as the season progresses. (The count on him will remain at 0-2.) But the headlines I have seen today and will see tomorrow - that Remy apologized for his comments - are not entirely accurate.

I am not a mind reader, but after looking closely at what Remy actually said in these two statements, my impression is that he doesn't believe he said anything wrong (or offensive) and is annoyed that people took exception to his words and that he had to say he was sorry when he was not sorry. I have been watching Jerry Remy on my TV screen almost 162 times per year for the last 15 years (that's nearly 2,500 games), and he often talks about himself and his personality, so when I describe him as having a hard, determined look on his face, speaking tersely and looking like he's being forced at gunpoint to deliver the 17-second apology linked above, it's not coming from a place of total ignorance.


Dean D said...

Remy has a right to his opinion. Those like you that are offended are part of the minority PC crowd. Get over yourselves.

allan said...

A further thought: Remy's statements are like saying you're sorry when someone tells you a relative died. It's a polite way to say you feel bad about what happened to them. You are not actually claiming responsibility.

allan said...

Remy has a right to his opinion. Those like you that are offended are part of the minority PC crowd. Get over yourselves.

I see. Only Remy, and people who Dean D (who joined Blogger today so he could post a comment (I'm honoured!)) agrees with, can have opinions. People "like [me]" are not allowed that right. Three things:

1. I hate the term "PC" and think it's a bunch of bullshit.

2. I wasn't all that offended by Remy's comments. (I didn't even make a note about them on my scorecard when they happened, which means they barely registered.) He's an older man with outdated views. There's a lot of that going around. If you read my posts, you'd realize that they dealt with the substance/meaning of his apologies.

3. Go fuck yourself.

Unknown said...

Jerry does apologize for hurting any ones feelings on the comment but does not apologize for his opinion. Fair enough, cant blame him for that and the fact that he has not been fired proves that he had a right to that opinion and that it was not really that offensive in his mind, or that he was obligated to state his comments were wrong. This is my opinion on the matter.

allan said...

the fact that he has not been fired proves that he had a right to that opinion

Remy had every right to that opinion (or any opinion) even if he was fired. Anyone can think or say whatever they want. But they must also realize that there may be consequences.