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Chairman Gives Pass to Ortiz’ ‘Fleeting Expletive’

Red Sox player was emotional during pregame ceremony at Boston’s Fenway Park

It appears the FCC’s outgoing chairman is giving a pass to a Boston baseball player as well as stations that carried the game.

During a pregame ceremony on Saturday, Red Sox player David Ortiz thanked Boston city officials “for the great job they did” last week in the aftermath of the marathon bombings.

“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say ‘Red Sox,’ it says ‘Boston,’” Ortiz said. He then added, “This is our f***ing city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom.” The broadcast audio was not initially dumped though most later Web postings and news reports did edit the sentence. An unedited version can be heard here.

The player later apologized, saying the expletive was unintentional.

After the game, Chairman Julius Genachowski tweeted from the commission’s official Twitter account that Ortiz “spoke from the heart. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston — Julius.”

The expletive comes as the commission considers changes to its broadcast indecency policies. Public comments on elements such as how the agency should treat fleeting expletives and whether the FCC should adopt an “egregious cases” policy are due to GM Docket 13-86 by May 20 with replies by June 18. Ten thousand comments have been filed as of mid-April.