Amy Schneider has spoken out after Fox Sports opted not to air her throwing out the first pitch during its coverage of a baseball game on Saturday.
Former Jeopardy! champ Schneider took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Pride Day at San Francisco’s Oracle Park, ahead of the San Francisco Giants facing off against rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, her big moment was not aired by the broadcaster, which instead showed NASCAR driver Kurt Busch making a ceremonial toss—which he did at the same venue on Thursday, ahead of the hosts’ game against the Colorado Rockies.
The broadcasting of Busch’s pitch was used to remind viewers that the network would be airing the NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway, which took place on Sunday.
“Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch,” said play-by-play announcer Adam Amin during the broadcast. “Of course, we’ve got the NASCAR race tomorrow coming up from Sonoma. You’ll see that on the Fox networks.”
Given that no mention was made of the fact that Busch’s pitch had occurred some 48 hours before Schneider’s, a number of viewers were left outraged as they accused the broadcaster of implying that the former’s took place on Saturday.
As the conversation around what was largely perceived to be a snub of Schneider dominated Twitter, the Oakland resident commented: “Well, that’s Fox for you.”
Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper made a point of clarifying who threw out Saturday’s first pitch when he spoke during a baseball broadcast the following day.
“Want to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast,” Kuiper said. “The broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which was not true.
“Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch on Thursday. It was Amy Schneider from Jeopardy! fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday. I just wanted to make sure she got her due.”
The clarification led to praise for Kuiper and his fellow Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow on social media, with one fan tweeting: “I love you Kruk & Kuip! Thanks for giving props to @Jeopardamy for throwing out the first pitch yesterday, after @MLBONFOX purposely edited it from their broadcast.”
Schneider’s comment about Fox was made in response to the tweet praising Kuiper.
Amid the criticism, a spokesperson for Fox Sports denied accusations that the network had deliberately eliminated Schneider from the broadcast.
“On Saturday, as part of a promotional package for the weekend’s NASCAR race in northern California, we aired a taped first pitch of famed NASCAR driver Kurt Busch,” the representative told the San Francisco Chronicle‘s SFGate.
“This promotion was in no way meant to overshadow the ceremonial first pitch for the game as it is not routine for us to air,” the statement concluded.
When NBC News contacted Schneider for a comment on the matter, she declined to directly address the matter, saying instead in a statement released through a Jeopardy! representative that she felt honored to participate in the game.
“As a lifelong baseball fan, just getting the chance to walk out on the field, let alone throw out the first pitch, was a dream come true,” she said. “I also want to state for the record that in my practice session I was getting it over the plate about half the time, so that pitch did not represent the best that I can do!”
Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, told NBC News that while he felt Fox Sports’ decision not to broadcast Schneider was “embarrassing” and “stupid,” he didn’t necessarily see it as transphobic.
“They showed the (scoreboard and other stadium signage) showing ‘Pride Day’ multiple times when they didn’t have to,” Zeigler said of Fox Sports.
“Is this some moment of transphobia? No, that’s not how I read it,” Zeigler went on. “It’s certainly unfortunate that it happened and it’s great the announcers the next day talked about it. But I’m not reading this as trying to erase the LGBT community. It’s embarrassing, it’s just stupid.”
Newsweek has contacted representatives of Foxx Sports for comment.
Schneider made history as the first openly transgender woman to qualify for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Her 40-game win streak, which started airing during last November’s Transgender Awareness Week, makes her the show’s most successful woman contestant. She is second only to Ken Jennings, who holds 73 wins.
The post Amy Schneider Criticizes Fox After First Pitch on Pride Day Is Cut appeared first on Newsweek.