Hank Bauer, color commentator on radio for San Diego Charger games, apologized Tuesday for what he termed a “hurtful insinuation” during Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
In the final minutes of the game, Bauer, 60, a former Charger and longtime radio sportscaster, made a comment to play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin that many saw as anti-Semitic.
“You know how copper wire was invented?” Bauer asked Lewin. “Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”
Lewin responded, “OK, all right. We’ve got, let’s see, 30 seconds mercifully remaining in this game.”
Bauer then said: “I say that respectfully and endearingly, my partner.”
“Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remark, we agree the comments were inappropriate. Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game,’’ the Chargers said in a statement.
Bauer has been part of the Chargers broadcast team for 16 years.
“We look forward to Chargers fans receiving the same high-quality broadcast from Josh [Lewin] and Hank when he returns to the booth for the regular season,” said the team statement.
In his apology, Bauer said, “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 negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners.
“I hope you accept my apology.”
Bauer, who graduated from California Lutheran University, played for the Chargers from 1977 to 1982. He excelled on special teams, earning the nickname “Hank the Howitzer” and in 2009 was named as one of the 50 greatest Chargers of all-time.