Stephanie Apstein, the Sports Illustrated reporter who broke the news about a Houston Astros executive verbally attacking three women reporters, received an apology Saturday from Astros owner Jim Crane after the team initially accused her of fabricating the story.
Apstein shared a photo of the apology letter Sunday on Twitter.
“On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday October 21st,” the letter said. “We were wrong and I am sorry that we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience.”
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) October 27, 2019
When the story first broke last Monday that assistant general manager Brandon Taubman had yelled “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!” at three female reporters following the team’s American League Championship victory over the Yankees on Oct. 19, the Astros released a statement claiming that the story was “misleading and completely irresponsible.” Taubman’s comments were about Astros reliever Roberto Osuna, who the team acquired at last year’s trade deadline after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Other reporters corroborated Apstein’s story.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a press conference Thursday that Taubman, who was fired the same day, lied to the team when first confronted about the incident, saying that his comments were directed at a colleague, not the group of women reporters, one of whom was wearing a bracelet for domestic violence awareness.
The Astros attempted to backpedal by issuing a broad apology for trying to smear Apstein’s reporting, though it wasn’t sent directly to her.
“We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct,” the team said in Thursday’s statement. “The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence.”
It’s still not clear whether other Astros employees will be disciplined for the first statement claiming that Apstein was fabricating the story.