Jamie Foxx Goes Rogue at Fox Upfronts With Improvised Baseball Jokes: ‘Don’t Want to Stand Up for the Negro League?’

The “Beat Shazam” host veered off script while teasing Fox Sports and the MLB’s upcoming Rickwood Classic

Jamie Foxx (Getty Images)
Jamie Foxx (Getty Images)

“Beat Shazam” host Jamie Foxx veered off script during Fox’s upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday while promoting Fox Sports and Major League Baseball’s upcoming collaboration on the Rickwood Classic in June.

After showing a teaser for the sporting event, which will pay tribute to the Negro Leagues, Foxx asked the audience to stand up — but they remained sitting.

“Don’t want to stand up for the negro league? That’s what this is? They won’t even stand for Black people, I can’t stand this s–t. No, I’m just kidding,” he joked, which resulted in some members of the audience going quiet.

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez then proceeded to join Foxx onstage, leading to more improvised banter from the actor.

“Let me start off by saying I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that Fox has this game. I mean, we get a chance to now pay tribute to the Negro Leagues, long overdue I might add,” Jeter said. “We get to pay tribute to the Negro Leagues.”

“I would say so. I’m that Black dude. Yeah, let it happen,” Foxx interjected, resulting in more awkward silence, to which Jeter replied, “You can take the teleprompter down because we’re not even doing the teleprompter.”

Rodriguez went on to note that Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson played in the Negro Leagues. At that, Foxx told the audience, “This is where you guys should be clapping like crazy that you know who these people are and that you care about African Americans.”

The athlete added that the June program also commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 (Robinson earlier became the first Black man to play professional baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947).

“I didn’t know you knew all that, I’m gonna call you Encyclopedia A-Rod. I like that. Home runs and history? S–t, you can do it all,” Foxx responded. “Speaking of doing it all, I don’t mean to brag but ya’ll know I played a little baseball. I have pitched two no-perfect hitters, not perfect games, back in peewee league. Ya’ll think you could fit that into your broadcast?” 

In addition to the improv with Jeter and Rodriguez, Foxx’s other jokes included asking Fox Entertainment CEO Rob Wade to stand up multiple times, telling the audience to “give it up for myself” and asking the crowd what their favorite Ken Jeong film is. The jokes had mixed reactions.

“We got some great alcohol after this, too. We’re gonna get you all f–ked up. That’s what you’re waiting for,” Foxx said to break up the awkwardness, which elicited some laughs.

Other talent featured at Fox’s upfront event at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City were Michael Strahan, Gordon Ramsay, Lisa Vanderpump, Joel McHale, Jon Hamm and Jeong.

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