Montreal Radio Host Accused Of 'Fat Shaming' Blue Jays Catcher Regrets His 'Harsh' Tweet
"I deeply regret it. Period."
Montreal TSN sports radio host Matthew Ross has apologized for a series of controversial tweets he made about Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk.
On September 13, the Toronto Blue Jays Twitter account posted a video of Kirk running the bases, and some responded with negative comments about the player's physique.
\u201cWe would run through a wall for Captain @alejandro_kirk \ud83d\ude24\u201d— Toronto Blue Jays (@Toronto Blue Jays) 1663121273
In a now-deleted tweet, Ross wrote, "It's cute and all, but also embarrassing for the sport. Giving guys like this prominence feeds negative stereotypes," according to the Toronto Sun.
Kirk's teammate Alek Manoah came to his defense on Twitter and highlighted how inspirational Kirk is for kids with different body types.
"What's actually embarrassing for the sport is people that go by the name of Matthew and have never played a day in the big leagues thinking they can control the narrative and stereotypes. Go ahead and tell that 8-year-old kid who is 10lbs overweight that he should quit now," wrote Manoah.
"Or just step aside from the keyboard and let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness," said Manoah in a follow-up tweet.
\u201cJust step aside from the keyboard and let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness.\u201d— MANOAH (@MANOAH) 1663209524
Ross then responded to Manoah's criticism in another now-deleted tweet.
"When a pro baseball player takes your words & twists them to suit his simple, defaming narrative of you," he wrote, according to the Toronto Sun. "Fat shaming? That's insane. I questioned the optics of a PRO player, & how it feeds into the declining view that casual fans have about MLB. PERIOD."
Manoah clapped back at his response and pointed out how well-loved his teammate is by fans.
\u201cSo now your saying attendance is down because too many big guys play the sport? Then let me ask you, why did he get millions of votes to start the all star game?\nAnd What\u2019s Narrow is your nose you should probably fix that. Your ratings are down cause of it.\u201d— MANOAH (@MANOAH) 1663210366
"So now your saying attendance is down because too many big guys play the sport? Then let me ask you, why did he get millions of votes to start the all-star game?" reads the tweet.
On September 17, TSN 690's Facebook page for its show Weekend Game Plan released an apology from its host Ross.
Matthew Ross' apologyTSN 690 | Facebook
"I want to sincerely apologize to Alejandro Kirk, Alek Manoah. The Toronto Blue Jays. Jays fans and anyone else offended by my initial tweet. The words were harsh. The sentiment was out of bounds, and I deeply regret it. Period."
Ross explained that he thought the post was "tongue in cheek" and that it would "lead to more jokes about the sport."
"I thought about the hundreds of people who've attacked me for loving baseball and who've said they're not athletes," he said.
Ross went on to explain that he didn't think the narrative would move toward people struggling with body issues.
"As someone who experienced the horrors of bullying and who has seen people close to me deal with very painful body-related struggles, my heart broke that anyone could think of me as this monster," he said.
"I apologize profusely to anyone who was offended. I will learn from this moment and continue to evolve," he added.
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