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Bob Brenly takes leave of absence after Marcus Stroman comment

Bally Sports Arizona television analyst Bob Brenly, shown Oct. 4, 2001, served as the Arizona Diamondbacks' manager from 2001-04. File Photo by Will Powers/UPI
Bally Sports Arizona television analyst Bob Brenly, shown Oct. 4, 2001, served as the Arizona Diamondbacks' manager from 2001-04. File Photo by Will Powers/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- Arizona Diamondbacks television analyst Bob Brenly announced Thursday he is taking a voluntary leave of absence from Bally Sports Arizona while he undergoes sensitivity training after his comment about New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman earlier this week.

"I want to apologize again for my insensitive reference on [Tuesday], as it does not reflect my values or who I am," Brenly said in a statement issued to The Athletic.

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"Beginning today, I have voluntarily decided to take some time off to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion to enhance my understanding and appreciation of others. I plan to return to the booth next homestand, hopefully a better person."

The Diamondbacks' next home game is scheduled for June 11 against the Los Angeles Angels.

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The 67-year-old Brenly made what he later called an "insensitive" comment during Tuesday's broadcast of the D-Backs' matchup against the visiting Mets. The former World Series-winning manager cracked a joke about Stroman's headwear during the game.

"Pretty sure that's the same do-rag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets," Brenly said during the telecast.

After the game, Stroman -- who is Black and has been one of MLB's vocal leaders on issues concerning race and social justice -- said Brenly's comment had "racist undertones."

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"Onward and upward," Stroman wrote on Twitter. "Through all adversity and racist undertones. The climb continues through all!"

Brenly released an apology Wednesday on social media, saying: "I made a poor attempt at humor that was insensitive and wrong."

Stroman was the Mets' starting pitcher in his team's 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He allowed seven hits and three runs over six innings and recorded six strikeouts.

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The 30-year-old Stroman, who was an All-Star selection in 2019, has posted a 4-4 record and 2.66 ERA over 11 starts this season.

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