The Blackhawks and team play-by-play TV announcer Pat Foley apologized to Eisbären’s Austin Ortega on Tuesday, two days removed from Foley making a racial comment about Ortega during the broadcast of Chicago’s preseason game in Berlin.
Six minutes into the third period, the 64-year-old Foley referred to the California-born Ortega by saying, “Ortega, who sounds like he ought to be a shortstop.”
“Ortega, sounds like he should be a shortstop” instead of hockey— Ghostchant (@ItsPronotRetail) September 30, 2019
Fantastic subtle racism by @NHLBlackhawks and @NHLonNBCSports play by play Pat foley.
Cause we Latinos don’t hear this enough on the ice already
Now On #latinoheritagemonth@NHL workin hard to be inclusive again pic.twitter.com/iqgqVSX226
Foley’s remarks fall during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. According to hispanicheritagemonth.gov, the month is used to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States’ history, heritage and culture.
The Blackhawks acknowledged Foley’s remarks in a statement, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“We are aware of the insensitive remarks made by play-by-play announcer Pat Foley on Sunday’s broadcast. Pat has personally spoken to the Eisbären organization to express his deep regret. He and the organization sincerely apologize to Austin Ortega and Eisbären and will not be commenting any further on the matter.”
NBC Sports Chicago, who broadcasted the game, has not issued a statement on the matter.
Foley called Blackhawks games from 1980 to 2006 before returning to the mic in 2008.