Bias Watch

Fox Sports busted refusing to air Amy Schneider’s ceremonial first pitch at Dodgers game

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Amy Schneider throws out the ceremonial first pitch
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Amy Schneider throws out the ceremonial first pitch Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Who says chivalry is dead?

On Sunday, beloved San Francisco Giants broadcast announcer and former Cleveland Indian Duane Kuiper came to the defense of Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, after Schneider’s first pitch at Saturday’s Giants-Dodgers match-up was cut from a rival telecast.

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“I want to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast,” Kuiper alerted NBC Sports Bay Area viewers at the bottom of the 3rd inning.

While most fans may not have noticed, Fox Sports, which carried the game regionally, substituted Schneider’s live first pitch with a ceremonial toss by NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, recorded two days before at a Giants-Rockies game, also at Oracle Park.

Schneider, an Oakland resident who triumphed in 40 consecutive Jeopardy! episodes, is the show’s winningest female player. She’s also the first transgender woman to qualify Jeopardy!‘s Tournament of Champions and took the mound Saturday as part of Pride Day at Oracle Park.

Fox announcers used Busch’s throw at Oracle to remind viewers the network was televising Sunday’s NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway north of San Francisco. They didn’t mention Pride Day or Schneider’s appearance, instead representing Busch’s pitch as “happening now” while erasing Schneider and her trans identity from the Fox coverage.

On Sunday, Kuiper set the record straight, alongside co-announcer Mike Krukow.

The Fox Sports “broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which is not true,” Kuiper said. “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. So I just wanted to make sure she got her due.”

“Actually, she had a pretty good arm, too,” Krukow responded

“That’s what I heard,” Kuiper said.

“I was impressed,” Krukow responded. “Plus, she could tell you the weight of the baseball, how many seams were on it and what country it was manufactured in.”

“In question form,” Kuiper said.

Fox Sports explained the Busch/Schneider substitution this way: “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. 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 internet had some other theories, and plenty of praise for Kuiper, while the Jeopardy! champion was typically non-plussed.

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