Retired baseball player offers up classic nonpology for anti-semitic remark

I only remember Johnny Bench as a baseball name. I couldn't have placed the team he played for, the position, or anything more remarkable than the moniker until he offered this nonpology for an anti-semitic remark.

Now I will remember him for that. Bench is sorry he interrupted a funeral, but he didn't apologize for the remark. "Insensitive" doesn't show he understands the comment was anti-semitic.


The Reds were holding a news conference for team Hall of Fame inductions for former general manager Gabe Paul and pitchers Danny Graves and Bronson Arroyo. Pete Rose began telling a story of how Paul, who died in 1998 and was represented by his daughter, Jennie Paul, signed him for $400 per month out of high school, prompting someone to yell, "That's cheap!"

Bench then interjected with, "He was Jewish!" Several people loudly laughed at the joke, though a few others, including Rose, simply looked stunned.

One day later, after video of the joke leaked, Bench issued an apology and called his joke "insensitive":

"I recognize my comment was insensitive. I apologized to Jennie for taking away from her father the full attention he deserves. Gabe Paul earned his place in the Reds Hall of Fame, same as the others who stood on that stage, I am sorry that some of the focus is on my inappropriate remark instead of solely on Gabe's achievement."