Aroldis Chapman is quite possibly the best closer in Major League Baseball, and he plies his trade for quite possibly the best team in the Chicago Cubs. He was also MLB’s first case study in its new domestic violence policy after he was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing a gun in her direction. He was on the Cincinnati Reds at the time, and they quickly traded him to the New York Yankees.
Chapman served a 30-game suspension, even though he was not convicted of a crime due to lack of evidence and his girlfriend refusing to testify against him. With the Yankees falling out of the playoff race, Chapman was dealt in July to the Cubs, who hoped that Chapman’s incident wouldn’t join him into the spotlight of a historic pennant chase. Well, they didn’t help themselves in that cause on Sunday with the music they used to play Chapman off the mound.
The Prodigy’s “Smack My B*tch Up” is just a dance song that endlessly refrains the name of the song, and its (kind of NSFW) music video made its association with misogynistic treatment of women even more explicit. It is, without a doubt, a choice in poor taste when accompanying a man accused of that very same act. If it was played by an opposing team, we’d consider it a poorly-considered, trash-talking joke. Played by the Cubs themselves, it was a staggering lapse in judgment at best.
The Cubs released a full statement saying:
“The selection of this track showed a lack of judgment and sensitivity to an important issue. We have terminated our relationship with the employee responsible for making the selection and will be implementing stronger controls to review and approve music before public broadcast during our games.”
That’s an extremely PR way of saying, “yeah we screwed this one up pretty badly.”