NBC Sports

Richardson, Shildt jointly address 'racial undertones' incident

NBC Sports

SAN FRANCISCO -- About eleven hours after Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson expressed his displeasure with how San Diego Padres third base coach Mike Shildt spoke to him in Tuesday's game, the two stood behind the plate at Oracle Park and shook hands. 

Gabe Kapler and LaMonte Wade Jr. stood nearby, watching, along with Bob Melvin. The meeting was the second of the morning for Richardson and Shildt, who had a disagreement Tuesday that led to Richardson saying Shildt had addressed him in a manner that had racial undertones. 

The two spoke to a large group of reporters, alternating for about five minutes. Afterward, as they were walking off, Shildt clarified his view of the back-and-forth in the early innings of a Giants blowout win. He said there was "some chirping" coming from the Padres dugout after Steven Duggar stole second with a nine-run lead and said he did not take part in it.

Shildt went over to coach third in the next inning and said emotions "were running high" between the teams. He looked into the Giants dugout to find players he knew "to try to diffuse the situation" and then words were exchanged with Richardson.

"I could have handled it differently with my verbiage," Shildt said. "I've already apologized for it. I wanted to make sure it didn't get out (on the field) and have two situations implode unnecessarily."


Here is how Richardson and Shildt explained the situation to reporters on Wednesday morning:

Shildt: "There was a thing that happened yesterday that draws this attention. Antoan and myself spoke this morning, I know he's got something to say. I'll turn it over to him and let him say what he wants to say and then I'll share my thoughts and we'll go down the road and play some baseball."

Richardson: "Shildty and I had an opportunity to talk this morning and kind of revisit some of the instances from last night. After we discussed, I'll make it very clear that in no way do I believe that Shildty is a racist. What I was trying to do was just bring awareness to how words impact certain communities even though they may not have ill intent.

"It's just helping us be more aware of what those things mean when we do share them. I think Shildty has some words to speak on that. I just wanted to make that clear."

Shildt: "I'm grateful for Antoan clearing that up. Clearly, it was misinterpreted. I think he knows this, and my value as a human is to love people and that is exactly what I represent, so I appreciate him clearing that up for myself and my family, because it's really important that that is clear. I don't know Antoan's heritage, I can't walk in his shoes, I can only have empathy and love, which I do have and have always had in my life.
"I used inappropriate language, which is my biggest issue last night and I apologize for that. I'm sensitive to Antoan's rightful understanding or experiences of what he feels is oppression that takes place in this world, and unfortunately, there's still an undercurrent of that that's real to people. But also, by no way, shape or form was that in a context of what we discussed and what was said last night, and I'm grateful. If you would like to elaborate on that (Antoan) ..."

Richardson: "Once again, to reiterate, no shape or form do I believe that he's a racist. I don't believe that he's a racist. I think that it's an important point that he's recognizing that our words are powerful and they're impactful. We just want to bring awareness to a situation that I think is important for our community. Shildty has been a supporter of the Black community. We definitely appreciate that, but I think this is more something we both want to use as an opportunity to bring awareness to sometimes words that are harmless are very insensitive to others.
"It's just really important that we are conscious of the things we are saying. Once again, Shildty has been a big supporter of the Black community. I appreciate him taking ownership and understanding the impact of his words and that we can move on from this and play baseball."


Shildt: "Yeah that's the last thing, we're here to play baseball. The one thing I've always loved about this game is that regardless of the color of your skin, regardless of your socioeconomics, regardless of what language you speak, and now, thankfully, regardless of your gender -- I mean, we had a beautiful moment last night with Alyssa and it allows me the opportunity to be able to speak to my stepdaughters about the empowerment that is our sport and what it can represent. 

"I think good is going to come of this, because now the reality is that we handled this tough solution publicly as men with solution and our heart without any animosity. I think it's a great example of how people can communicate together regardless of background or color. It's less than 12 hours later, we can be here standing as brothers and represent things moving forward and move forward and ultimately go play the great game that is greatest game in the world, baseball."

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