Houston Astros blast 'misleading' Sports Illustrated report over team exec's alleged remarks after ALCS win
The Houston Astros defended one of the team's top executives after a ‘misleading’ Sports Illustrated report came out claiming the exec taunted three female reporters after their ALCS win against the New York Yankees.
The Houston Astros on Thursday announced the firing of Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman over his comments to three female reporters earlier in October.
A statement released by the team said Taubman’s conduct did not reflect the organization’s values, “and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action.”
Taubman previously apologized for using language that was “unprofessional and inappropriate” in the clubhouse following the victory. Sports Illustrated (SI) reported he repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters about hurler Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games last year for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy before being traded from Toronto to the Astros.
Taubman shouted, “Thank God we got Osuna!” according to SI, which said he made similar remarks several times, punctuating them with a profanity.
HOUSTON ASTROS OFFICIAL APOLOGIZES FOR YELLING AT FEMALE REPORTERS AFTER SPORTS ILLUSTRATED DEFENDS STORY
The incident sparked controversy in the media world as the Astros released a statement condemning SI's reporting. "The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing," the team said earlier on Tuesday.
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"Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed toward any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated's attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."
In the statement on Taubman's firing, the Astros admitted their initial statement was incorrect. "Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter. We were wrong."
SI, on Tuesday, stood by reporter Stephanie Apstein, who wrote the report. "Sports Illustrated unequivocally stands behind Apstein, her reporting and the story, which was subsequently corroborated by several other media members present at the scene," the publication said. "Any implication that SI or any of its journalists would ‘fabricate’ a story in its detail or intent is both disappointing and completely inexcusable."
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The Astros specifically apologized to Apstein and SI and claimed the organization had been basing its comments on witness statements."Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman's inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters," it said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.