San Diego Chargers play at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. (justasc /
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N.F.L. Announcer Suspended After Jewish Joke

San Diego Chargers commentator will sit next game out after ‘cheap’ joke

Stephanie Butnick
August 28, 2014
San Diego Chargers play at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. (justasc /

San Diego Chargers radio analyst Hank Bauer won’t be offering his usual color commentary during tonight’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The football team suspended the longtime on-air presence for one game after an audio recording of him making a joke about Jews being cheap made the rounds online.

“Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remarks, we agree the comments were inappropriate,” the team said in a statement. “Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game.”

The offending remark came in the final minutes of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, when Chargers play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin—who happens to be Jewish—commented on how many people had left the San Francisco stadium before the game was over, citing the costly new seat licenses fans had to buy in order to secure season tickets.

Lewin: There’s a personal seat license you gotta pay for, and I’d sit in it for a long time. A lot of these fans used that seat for about an hour today.

Bauer: But then again, you know how copper wire was invented. Someone dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.

Bauer, for his part, issued a two-part apology on Twitter soon after the recording went viral:

I made a hurtful insinuation that I regret and I would like to express how sorry I am. My poor choice of words were unfortunately open for

— Hank Bauer (@hank_bauer) August 26, 2014

negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners. I hope you accept my apology.

— Hank Bauer (@hank_bauer) August 26, 2014

It’s a canned apology, but at least he didn’t go with ‘some of my favorite co-commentators are Jewish.’

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.