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JESSE JACKSON WANTS TO DARKEN THE BRAVES CLUBHOUSE

Posted by HG on May 8, 2007

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Another week, another Jesse inserting himself into something story. This time the reverend’s Rainbow-Push Coalition is going after the Atlanta Braves. The RPC is upset with the lack of black players on the Atlanta roster, so they requested a meeting with Braves gm John Schuerholz.. and they got it. The Rainbow-Push Coalition’s Southern Regional Director Joe Beasley and Director of Sports Joe Clinkscale had a 2 hour meeting with Schuerholz, assistant gm Frank Wren and 3 other Braves officials. Beasley isn’t pleased with the situation:

“The team slipped … down to [no African-Americans]; it wasn’t something that just happened. I think it was a lack of diligence on the part of the Braves to recruit African-American players. There’s not diminished enthusiasm for African-Americans playing baseball. It’s simply the opportunity hasn’t presented itself.”

I couldn’t agree with Mr. Beasley less. The lack of blacks in Major League Baseball has been well reported. If brothas aren’t playing baseball, who the hell are the Braves supposed to put on the roster? It would be one thing if the Braves had a lot of black players in the minors and were refusing to bring them up to the majors, but that’s not the case. African-Americans are playing football and basketball. Case closed.

If the Coalition or any other group wants to search for the reason blacks are shying away from baseball, they should start at the bottom instead of the top. You have to grow the players from the ground up which means starting with the kids. People can argue that the inner cities are too poor to support baseball, but I’ve heard a million stories about Latin born players using milk cartons for gloves and sticks for bats. I’ve seen kids in America playing basketball with a dodgeball and an imaginary hoop. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If I was asked why aren’t more blacks playing baseball I would offer these uneducated opinions. A lot of the youngins consider the sport boring, baseball scholarships aren’t the bizness, and baseball hasn’t exactly had the best relationships with it’s black players. Jackie Robinson had to go through hell crossing the color line, Hank Aaron was receiving death threats when he was approaching the Babe’s homerun record, Reggie Jackson (as a Yankee) had problems with his teammates and manager due to his skin color, and now the perceived bias against Barry Bonds. Plus, if you watch any tv you’ll see people of color getting ad deals through football and basketball, but rarely through baseball. 

I’m not even sure what all of the hubbub regarding the lack of black players is all about. If blacks are choosing not to play baseball what’s the big deal? If blacks are being held out of baseball that’s a big story. I’m also from the school that believes there are plenty of blacks playing baseball, it’s just that most of them happen to speak spanish. I know those people are technically considered Latinos, but like I always say, if the police are looking for a 6′ 4″, 200+ pound black suspect, David Ortiz is getting harrassed just like Keyshawn Johnson. My final ruling.. the Rainbow-Push Coalition is way off base.

Braves meet with Rainbow/Push officials. Courtesy of The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Green behind decline of blacks in baseball. Courtesy of CNN Money

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Posted in ATLANTA BRAVES, BASEBALL, JOE BEASLEY, JOHN SCHUERHOLZ, MISC., MLB, RAINBOW-PUSH COALITION, SPORTS | 4 Comments »