The comments made by Rob Dibble during Wednesdays' Nats game have gotten a lot of attention, and rightly so. As a group, female fans have been trivialized before and we'll be trivialized again. But maybe, thanks to the light shone on Dibble, other male sports personalities will think twice before making such hurtful comments, and the world will be better for it.
In the meantime, this is an Orioles site, and the Orioles have been playing well. Thankfully the only former pitchers I have to listen to on a regular basis are Jim Palmer, Mike Flanagan, and Dave Johnson. So consider these my final words on Rob Dibble. After today, let us never speak of him again (unless it's to mock his awful announcing, that is always welcome here).
This morning Rob Dibble posted an explanation of sorts on his MASN blog. In it he outlines all of the female baseball fans in his life and then gives the following apology:
The other night I made an off-handed comment, the meaning of which may have been misconstrued beyond what was said. If any fan of this great game took offense, then he or she should know that this was neither my intention nor my history in the game.
Look, let me be the first to say that I don't believe that Rob Dibble hates women. I don't think that he was trying to alienate the female fan base or that he really believes women shouldn't attend baseball games. But just because of that, it doesn't mean his comments weren't wrong. His comments were inappropriate, insensitive, and upsetting.
My least favorite kind of apology in the world is "if you were upset, then I'm sorry." An apology like that absolves the apologizer from any fault and instead puts it back on the person who has been wronged. It is essentially the other person saying, "If you are so sensitive and/or stupid to have thought that I could possibly have done something wrong, then I'm sorry that you are so sensitive and/or stupid."
The whole thing reminds me of when we're in a game thread and someone insults a player by saying he is gay or says that the umpire must be on his period and I (or zknower or duck or whoever) have to tell them it's not ok. Chances are that the person saying that isn't a homophobe or a sexist, and chances are that it didn't even occur to that person that his words might be offensive. But that doesn't mean those words aren't wrong and it doesn't mean it's the fault of the person who doesn't like them that they are.
In a perfect world, Rob Dibble wouldn't have said what he did. But in a perfect world that began on Thursday morning, Rob Dibble would have responded with an apology more like this:
I apologize for the comments that I made Wednesday night about the women sitting behind home plate during the Nationals game. Although I didn't mean them to be sexist, I now understand why they were construed as such. I have nothing but respect for female baseball fans and in the future I will go out of my way to ensure I don't say anything that would lead anyone to think otherwise.
An apology like that I could get behind. I would applaud Rob Dibble for an apology like that. As it stands now, Rob Dibble is just another non-apologizer who refuses to acknowledge that he actually did anything wrong.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Edit: I guess that's not all I have to say about that. Rob Dibble gave an on-air apology today, as follows:
You know, Bob, recently some things have come to my attention that, in cyberspace, some really toxic and hurtful things have been mentioned about me, something I said last week during a baseball game. To anybody that does not know me that was offended, or too[k] offense with what I said in my weak attempt to be humorous during a down time during the game, I truly apologize. That's not truly how I feel about any baseball fan -- men, women, or children. And so I wrote a blog, in my own words, not the words of other people who'd like you to think differently, on MASNSports.com. So, my humble and sincere apology if I offended anybody last week
Make of that what you want. He does sound truly sorry, and for that I'm appreciative. I'm washing my hands of Rob Dibble, though, so from now on I'll stick to mocking him for his baseball analysis.