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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Black Baseball Player Calls Afro-Latino Players Imposters


According to a USA today article, black Latinos now make up 38% of Major League Baseball players vs only 8% of African-American baseball players.

African-American center fielder, Torii Hunter made a comment during a USA Today's round table on the state of baseball, that MLB uses dark-skinned players (he won't even refer to them as black) from countries like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela to give an appearance that it has more African-Americans playing the game than it really does. He refers to these black Latino ball players as impostors.



To make black Latinos scapegoats as part of a big conspiracy is not the answer to the problem of getting more African-Americans back into the sport of baseball.

Tori's Hunter's exact words were:
As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It's like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they can get them cheaper. It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when I can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?' ... I'm telling you, it's sad.
Just because a black person speaks another language and comes from another country doesn't disqualify him as a member of the African diaspora.
What's sad is not the theory of why MLB would want to pay less for an Afro-Latino player than a home-grown African-American player; I think he is making a good point here. What is sad is his obvious lack of knowledge of black history. The black race does not start and end in the United States. Just because a black person speaks another language and comes from another country doesn't disqualify him as a member of the African diaspora.

What is sad is his obvious lack of knowledge of black history. The black race does not start and end in the United States.

I certainly agree and respect Hunter's advocacy of an increased number of African-American participation in baseball, but let's call a spade a spade (no pun intended). I agree with Tori Hunter's critics that this was a terrible and illogical way to advance that struggle. To make black Latinos scapegoats as part of a big conspiracy is not the answer to the problem of getting more African-Americans back into the sport of baseball.