Mayor Joins Call to Discipline Giants CEO

London Breed and domestic violence prevention groups call for a suspension and stiff fines over video of Larry Baer getting physical with his wife.

Image: BT Washburn via Flickr

San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer is currently on a self-imposed leave of absence from Major League Baseball, in the wake of a disturbing incident caught on video wherein Baer shoved his wife to the ground. A coalition of domestic violence victim advocates is calling for a much harsher penalty against the Giants executive, and Mayor London Breed amplified that sentiment Monday morning by issuing a release saying, “Major League Baseball needs to send a message that any and all acts of violence against women is unacceptable,” and that “Every little girl, every woman should be able to attend a Giants game with a clear sense of the organization’s values.”

Baer has been on voluntary leave for the last two weeks, after a March 1 video posted to TMZ Sports showed Baer grabbing for his wife’s cell phone so aggressively that she is knocked to the ground while screaming “Oh my god, help!” The San Francisco police and Major League Baseball are both investigating the incident.

Several domestic violence victim advocates say that voluntary leave is not an adequate discipline for Baer. A coalition of the founders and directors of groups like the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, La Casa de las Madres, and the Asian Women’s Shelter posted an open letter to Major League Baseball commissioner Robert Manfred, under the name on the name of a newly formed group Do What’s Right, MLB.

“Larry Baer cannot be allowed to resume his high profile role without significant consequences and accountability,” the group says in its letter. “As commissioner, we know that you have significant power in determining how Larry Baer will be held accountable for his actions. If you fail to administer significant and meaningful consequences, it will then become the responsibility of the ownership and leadership of the Giants organization to do so.”

The advocates are calling for a significant suspension, a substantial fine, “a strong public statement” reprimanding Baer, and a specialized treatment plan with a domestic violence prevention organization.

When questioned by reporters Monday morning, Mayor Breed reiterated that “there has to be consequences for behavior that is not appropriate towards women.”

Baer’s current suspension is self-imposed, with no timeline or parameters attached. For all we know, he may be on paid leave. Major League Baseball was the first of the big U.S. sports leagues to adopt a domestic violence policy in 2015, though the discipline guidelines of that policy simply say “The Commissioner will decide on appropriate discipline, with no minimum or maximum penalty under the policy.”

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