Former Jeopardy! champion, Amy Schneider, was invited to throw out the first pitch at a San Francisco baseball game on Sunday. However, Fox Sports elected not to air her pitch during their broadcast. Instead, footage of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch making a ceremonial toss was shown.
“I wanted to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast,” Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper told fans on NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday. “The broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday which was not true. It was Amy Schneider from Jeopardy! fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday. So I just wanted to make sure she got her due.”
Some Jeopardy! fans viewed Schneider’s omission from the broadcast to be a slight against the trans community. Schneider first came to fame through her 40-game winning streak on Jeopardy! last year. She is also the first trans person ever to qualify for Jeopardy!’s Tournament of Champions.
According to Today, Fox aired Busch’s ceremonial toss to remind viewers the network would also televise Sunday’s NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway. But the placement of the footage left viewers with the impression that Busch made the first pitch at the game, not Schneider.
Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, told Today: “Is this some moment of transphobia? No, that’s not how I read it. It’s certainly unfortunate that it happened and it’s great the announcers the next day talked about it. But I’m not reading this as trying to erase the LGBT community.”
Amy Schneider’s Winning Streak Came With Challenges
Schneider made Jeopardy! history and reached the second-longest winning streak in the show’s history. Even though she got to take home more than $1 million, she admits life has been difficult.
After her historic winning streak, she made the choice to leave her job. She took on the challenge of writing a book, traveled the world, and also became engaged. But clearly, her status as a trans celebrity brings a lot of unwanted attention.
She took to her Twitter account in April to vent to her fans. “My life’s been tough lately. It’s been good, to be clear, about the best it’s ever been, just tough.”
Schneider takes every incident in stride though. After the backlash to Fox Sports leaving her pitch off their baseball broadcast, she herself a lifelong fan of the sport, didn’t let the mishap affect her experience.
“As a lifelong baseball fan, just getting the chance to walk out on the field, let alone throw out the first pitch, was a dream come true,” Schneider said in a statement released by Jeopardy! “I also want to state for the record that in my practice session I was getting it over the plate about half the time, so that pitch did not represent the best that I can do!”