In a move surprising no one, Fox Sports opted against showing Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, a trans woman, throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a San Francisco game over the weekend.
Since then, the network has been called out by various sources, while they try to defend themselves to limited success.
The pitch was shared widely on Twitter due to the snub.
\u201cJeopardy! megachamp Amy Schneider throws out the ceremonial first pitch on Pride Day at Oracle Park.\u201d— Andrew Baggarly (@Andrew Baggarly) 1654988880
Schneider is the first out trans woman to qualify for the Tournament of Champions on for Jeopardy!. She has won 40 consecutive games of the trivia show, and is currently the highest ranked female player.
During the time Schneider would be throwing the first pitch, Fox Sports opted to air the ceremonial first pitch from NASCAR driver Kurt Busch a few days earlier. The network made no mention of Busch actually throwing the first throw a few days earlier.
People were flabbergasted that the network would do such a thing.
\u201c@The_DOF1118 @NBCNews If it is a national game, no. That is valuable advertising time. But, they did show a previous "1st pitch" instead of hers.\u201d— NBC News (@NBC News) 1655172840
\u201cEven @FoxSports blatantly lies and deceives the public. \n#PrideMonth\u201d— Elaine \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udf3b (@Elaine \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udf3b) 1655309989
\u201c@lyd_vic @Jeopardamy As part of the broadcast, Fox aired what seemed to be the first pitch by a race car driver so they could promote the race the next day. They insinuated that the pitch happened the same day when it really happened 2 days prior. Amy actually did it that day\u201d— Amy Schneider (@Amy Schneider) 1655081986
On one hand, it’s commonplace practice to not air the ceremonial first pitch. Networks often see this as prime advertising time, since many eyes are on the game for the start, and the first throw doesn’t have an effect on the game.
But what makes this so egregious is that Fox Sports chose to replace Schneider’s first throw with another ceremonial first throw without giving any indication that it wasn’t live.
It even tricked those who regularly cover such topics, like Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper, who had to apologize to fans for initially reporting that Busch was throwing the pitch instead of Schneider.
A representative for Fox Sports has said that they didn’t intend to overshadow Schneider, instead saying:
“On Saturday, as part of a promotional package for the weekend’s NASCAR race in northern California, we aired a taped first pitch of famed NASCAR driver Kurt Busch.”
“This promotion was in no way meant to overshadow the ceremonial first pitch for the game as it is not routine for us to air.”
Ill-intent or no, the whole debacle has led to more support for Schneider.
\u201cAmy Schneider threw out the first pitch!!!\u201d— Kyle Kishimoto #KempASG #SquidASG (@Kyle Kishimoto #KempASG #SquidASG) 1654988852
\u201cjust saw amy schneider throw out the first pitch at the giants game. i love sports so much.\u201d— Anthony (@Anthony) 1654988873
\u201c@Jeopardamy Amy, I wish I would have seen you throw that pitch! Of course, it doesn\u2019t surprise me that FOX never aired it! Hope you are doing well! Can\u2019t wait to watch you on the Jeopardy TOC!!!\u201d— Amy Schneider (@Amy Schneider) 1655081986
\u201c@cspotweet Best woman in jeopardy history. Well done woman!\u201d— Courtney Theriault (@Courtney Theriault) 1655164803
\u201cKruk and Kuip taking the time to shout out Amy Schneider for her first pitch yesterday that the Fox broadcast did not show. Truly HOF behavior\u201d— Josh Temple (@Josh Temple) 1655067230
Schneider qualifies for the next Tournament of Champions for Jeopardy! set to air this fall. She’ll be competing against other players who’ve won multiple games for a pot of $250,000.