Jessica Mendoza Fights Host's Sexist Comments: 'He Came After Me Because I'm a Woman'
Jessica Mendoza says she accepts the apology from a talk show host after he criticized her role as a baseball analyst.
Mendoza, a gold medal-winning Olympic softball player for Team USA, made history as the first woman analyst to broadcast a Major League playoff game. She had a broad grin in the ESPN broadcast booth during Tuesday night's wildcard game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.
But Mendoza faced outrageous backlash on social media.
One Atlanta sports radio talk show host, Mike Bell, tweeted: “You guys are telling me there isn't a more qualified baseball player ESPN can use than a softball player? Gimme a break!”
Then Bell went a step further – blasting her by referring to an offensive scene from the movie, Anchorman.
The radio host tweeted: “Yes tell us ---- McGhee, when you're up there hitting the softball, you see a lot of 95 mile-an-hour cutters.”
The radio station suspended Bell until next week and he apologized to Mendoza.
“What I said was hurtful and I want to take this opportunity to say to Jessica that what I said was dumb and hurtful and I apologize for putting that garbage on Twitter,” he said.
On Good Morning America, Mendoza said, “I accept his apology. To me it’s really about, he came after me because I'm a woman. Let's think about what I'm saying, what I'm doing, and not so much the sex that I am.”
IE’s Lisa Guerrero -- a former sideline reporter on Monday Night Football – said of the controversy: “I find it shocking that in 2015, a woman would be criticized based on simply her gender, and not on the value of her work. Jessica has been doing a great job as an analyst."
Mendoza said: “I think we're just going to keep this going and I'm looking forward to the future.”