Jeopardy champion Amy Scheinder threw the first pitch at Dodgers-Giants game on Sunday, June 12, but it did not air on Fox Sports. Viewers were shocked and suspicious when Fox’s coverage cut from Schneider’s ceremonial pitch to a different first pitch from another recent game. Fox Sports claimed that this was an accident and apologized to Schneider, who accepted.
Schneider is the first openly transgender Jeopardy champion after her 40-game winning streak from November 2021 to January 2022. She was invited to throw the first pitch at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California, partially in honor of Pride Month as the MLB celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. Given the current climate of violence, legislation and rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community and transgender people specifically, some viewers thought it was strange that Fox cut away from Schneider’s pitch and showed one by Kurt Busch instead.
“Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch.” pic.twitter.com/DzolTVrLey
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) June 12, 2022
Representatives for Fox Sports told TMZ that this was a mistake. They said that they did not mean to show Busch’s pitch in place of Schneider’s – rather, that it was part of a promotional package for an upcoming NASCAR race in Northern California that just happened to air at their next commercial break. The director of the broadcast reached out to Schneider personally to apologize.
Schneider told TMZ that she believed Fox and took their word for it. She said: “They say the reason they misled their viewers was for cross-promotion, not anything to do with me, so I’ll take them at their word.” She also said that she had accepted the director’s apology.
Other viewers did not feel the same way. Many commenters on social media were outraged on Schneider’s behalf and they condemned Fox in threads all around Twitter. However, others defended the network and pointed out that first pitches are not always shown in every broadcast.
Fox Sports refused to show Jeopardy champ Amy Schneider throw the first pitch on Pride Day during their coverage of the Giants/Dodgers game. Schneider is a trans icon with the 2nd longest winning streak in Jeopardy history. Here’s a clip of her pitch:pic.twitter.com/wgopQZOak1
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) June 13, 2022
Schneider is 43 years old and was the first openly transgender contestant to qualify for Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions. She has won over $1 million on Jeopardy so far, counting her initial win streak and her tournament appearance. At the time of her initial streak, she tweeted: “The fact is, I don’t actually think about being trans all that often, and so when appearing on national television, I wanted to represent that part of my identity accurately: as important, but also relatively minor.”