Left-leaning ESPN claims MLB lacks diversity over there being just one ‘black double-play combo’

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ESPN is facing criticism for publishing a “woke” article about black players in Major League Baseball.

Despite black men having played in the MLB since the days of Jackie Robinson back in the 1940s, ESPN says it’s a problem that, one, black players only comprise 7.2 percent of players in this year’s roster, and two, there’s only one “black double-play combination in baseball” at the moment.

“When White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and new second baseman Josh Harrison take the field together on Jackie Robinson Day on Friday, they will be the only black double-play combination in baseball,” ESPN reported Wednesday.

“Just 7.2% of the players on MLB Opening Day rosters this season were black, down from the 7.6% in 2021. That percentage has fallen consistently since MLB’s all-time high of 18.7% in 1981, according to the Society of American Baseball Research.”

Speaking with ESPN about the upcoming game that’ll pit him alongside Harrison, Anderson said, “I think African American people will really appreciate it. What are the chances of that happening? Two black guys being the everyday up the middle combo. It’s definitely dope and definitely cool for younger kids to see that.”

Meanwhile over at NewsBusters, contributor John Simmons wonders why any of this is even an issue.

“While it is noble that Anderson might want to set a good example for the next generation of players, the overarching tone of the article and the placement of this quote reeks of a load of race-baiting content that everyone should ignore,” he writes.

“The MLB is far from being a racist league, with Hispanic players like Manny Machado, black players like Anderson, and Asian players like Shohei Ohtani currently dominating the league and representing it well on a global level.”

He continued by further pointing out that many MLB “franchises also hold pride nights (if you care about that sort of thing), and the league dedicates an entire day to honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson.”

“While diversity for the sake of diversity does not automatically make the league better, the sheer amount of things the MLB does to be inclusive is daunting. But that’s not what ESPN wants to see. And frankly, they do not want you to see it either,” he concluded.

His point appears to be that ESPN should be focusing on how far the MLB has come versus fretting over how far the MLB allegedly needs to go to achieve racial equality.

Though not noticed by Simmons and also left unmentioned by ESPN was the fact that baseball simply isn’t that popular in the black community.

Gerald L Early, Ph.D., a black culture expert at Washington University in St. Louis, explained why not way back in 2007.

“Black Americans don’t play baseball because they don’t want to. They are not attracted to the game. Baseball has little hold on the black American imagination,” he wrote in a magazine article at the time.

“Relatively few blacks watch the game. The game is not passed on from father to son or father to daughter; lacking that, the game simply will not have much resonance with African Americans,” he wrote.

Something else that ESPN failed to mention was that some black figures have purposefully stepped away from the game in recent years because of completely unrelated matters.

Take Doug Glanville, a former MLB player who turned down a job as an MLB manager last year because of the 2020 race riots, not because of alleged racism in the MLB, as he explained in a column for ESPN published in January of 2021.

“I played nine seasons in the big leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. I have experience as an executive subcommittee member in the Major League Baseball Players Association and am well-versed in baseball governance. I have an Ivy League degree at a time when that means a lot for executive opportunity in baseball. I’ve been a candidate before, and I believe I have the voice and drive to be an excellent major league manager,” he wrote.

“But I can’t be your candidate right now. That truth has a lot to do with another box I check: black father. How can I leave my children for extended periods of time when, every day, the poison of racism makes me fear for their safety? The past year has been one of racial reckoning in America. But in the black experience, much of what we saw was business as usual. It’s been a year that has given us even more indisputable evidence of systemic racism, sometimes stark brutality caught on camera — and most of my four kids, all under 13, are of an age to pay close attention.”

Fair enough.

The problem, however, is that instead of considering relevant factors such as the ones mentioned above, members of the left have a tendency to automatically assume that disparities of any kind (such as the disparity in the number of black players in the MLB) equate to racism.

Except that as the MLB’s rich history testifies, racism simply isn’t a problem in the MLB, nor has it been one anytime recently …


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Vivek Saxena


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