Former Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace sparked criticism on Saturday after calling his wife a "dingbat" during a live broadcast. He was working as a third analyst alongside Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies for Marquee Sports Network, covering a Cubs game. He then took the conversation in a different direction while telling a story about his wife parking in former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's spot.
"So we are going to up, and it's early afternoon," Grace said during the broadcast. "My ex-wife — I'm going to go Archie Bunker on you guys a little bit — I call her the dingbat. I said, 'Honey, why don't you drop me off at [Milwaukee] County Stadium, and you go on to the hotel. There'll be a key waiting for you.'" Grace continued and said that his wife wanted to come to the game a little early. She ended up parking in Selig's spot.
This is why Cubs great Mark Grace is trending pic.twitter.com/5M857OqFfU— tony pierce (@busblog) August 15, 2020
Archie Bunker is a character from the TV shows All In the Family and Archie Bunker's Place. He was known for calling his wife a dingbat and making other racist and misogynistic comments. Carroll O'Connor portrayed the character after both Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney passed.
The story continued with someone coming to Grace's locker and asking if he parked in the exclusive spot. He realized that his wife had parked there, so he ran out in full uniform and tried to keep the car from getting towed. During this portion of the story, Grace referred to his ex-wife as a dingbat once again.
When Grace made the comments, Twitter users responded strongly. Some alleged that Grace was under the influence of alcohol, while others said that they simply cringed while listening to the interview. Another group, however, called for Marquee Sports Network to fire Grace for making these comments.
Grace later issued an apology after the game in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. "During today's game I referred to my ex-wife in a way that I absolutely should not have," Grace said. "I want everyone to know how very sorry I am about that. My remarks were offensive and inappropriate, and I deeply apologize."
TMZ reports that Grace is facing discipline for his comments after Saturday's game. What this entails is unknown. Nothing is official and questions remain as the Cubs' season continues with a series against the St. Louis Cardinals.