Padres CEO Garfinkel apologises for Greinke’s remarks
Padres president and CEO Tom Garfunkel apologized Thursday for his recent comments about Dodgers pitcher Zach Greink, who hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin with the ball, after Quentin dashed to the mound, and an incident of clearing the bench ensued. Garfunkel made an insensitive, misleading statement linking Gink’s social anxiety disorder to a movie character with autism, in addition to speculative allegations about the Dodgers’ pitching intentions.
“Having heard from parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, and myself as a parent, I learned a lot today,” Garfunkel said on his Twitter account. “I’m deeply impressed by my insensitive remarks. My apologies. Also, I would like to personally apologize to anyone affected by social anxiety disorder.”
Yahoo! The Athletic obtained footage of Garfunkel speaking nearly five minutes at a season-ticket holder event, with 50 to 100 people in the room at Petko Park last Friday, just after Glink hit Quentin’s with the ball. The next day, the Dodgers pitcher sustained a fractured collarbone and Quentin was suspended for eight games.
“I do it a lot. I’m usually quite candid. The mistake is not being candid with them… The mistake is what I say. Some of my remarks are insensitive. Some words I choose to describe Zack are terrible” Garfunkel on the team ‘s flagship radio station 1090 AM said.
“I feel terrible. I’ve spoken to the parents of children with autism. It certainly wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry about that.”
During the recording, Garfunkel mentioned Glink’s social anxiety disorder and compared it to Dustin Hoffman, the autistic character played in the film “Rain Man.”
“He threw it at him on purpose, okay?” Garfunkel told the group, according to Yahoo! sporty. “That’s the way it is. They can say 3-and-2 counts, 2-1 games, and nobody does that. Zach Glink is a different guy. Has anyone seen Rain Man? He’s a very smart guy. “
Social anxiety and autism are very different. Social anxiety is a psychological disorder, while autism is a neurological disorder. Social anxiety disorder is usually not permanent. Autism is an inborn developmental disorder.
Major League Baseball has partnered with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, in a league-wide effort to recognize Autism Awareness Month in April. All 30 clubs are raising awareness about the disease at a home game this month. The Padres held a pregame ceremony ahead of their game against the Dodgers on April 10, which included Autism Voices national president Liz Feld.
Garfunkel apologized to Dodgers CEO Stan Carsten and Grinker Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, according to Yahoo! sporty.
“I was emotional the day after the game and unfortunately, in defending our players, I said something I shouldn’t have said, especially with regard to Zack Greinke,” Garfunkel told Yahoo! sporty. “I digress, and I apologize.
“Obviously, I don’t condone fights and I hope it doesn’t happen. You never want to see any player get hurt.”
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