Talon Marks

Shmackem: Racism in the outfield

Jah-Tosh Baruti, Freelancer

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I’m sorry to tell you, but if you’re 18 or in your 20s and make public prejudice statements you should still be penalized even if you become a millionaire MLB player in the future.

In fact, by being a baseball player in the big league, a player is instantly viewed as a role model.

It sets a bad precedent for young kids who find out their favorite player made racist, sexist or misogynistic comments only a few years back, kids end up thinking it’s okay.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Case in point, Sonny Gray, pitcher for one of the most well-known franchises, the New York Yankees.

Gray deleted his tweet from 2012 after it was discovered to contain a racist comment, he did so during a game following being pulled after he gave up seven runs.

via Sonny Gray’s twitter

Gray told reporters, after the Yankees loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, that it was an “inside joke” directed at a friend.

He continued to try and dig himself out of the hole he made, saying, “I’m comfortable with who I am. You can ask anybody in this clubhouse who I am and what I’m about.

“People are trying to dig stuff up. Ask Sir Peanut? He is one of my best friends. I played with him forever. We went on vacation together.”

Comments on Bleacher Report and Twitter indicate that Gray has a lot of supporters, with some making excuses such as “oh he was just young” and “made a mistake.”

One BR commenter, Nate Perry, said, “Obviously racist or offensive tweets by anyone is deplorable. But, let (Sic) not forget how young some of these professional athletes are…many of them are still just kids.

“At the time of this tweet…sonny gray was 22 and probably just thought he was somehow being funny.”

He was 22 years old! At 22 you should know better than to publicly make a derogatory remark on social media, especially considering he was a minor leaguer for the Oakland Athletics at the time, there is no excuse for that.

Also, it doesn’t matter if it happened six years ago or 15. There is no statute of limitations on racism.

Well I guess the same people defending Gray and others who made offensive tweets are the same people who looked the other way during the 2016 Presidential election.

Such as when a video from 2005 surfaced of current President Donald Trump saying when you’re a star you can just go up to women and “grab them by the pussy,” not to mention his list of cringeworthy tweets.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Gray is not alone as he’s actually the fourth current MLB player to be ousted in 2018 for offensive statements resurfacing from previous tweets.

The list includes: Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader, Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner and Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb.

On Thursday, Gray was taken out of the starting rotation and placed in the bullpen, this came just a day after racism allegations took center stage.

The decision by the Yankees was most likely due to his poor play, however, the offensive tweet did mnot help Gray’s case as a starter.

He has not issued a public apology and did not seem disappointed by his actions, in response to reporters about the tweet he only defended his character and choice of words.

According to Bleacher Report, the Brewers made Hader attend sensitivity training and participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives after racist and homophobic tweets he uploaded were brought to light around the 2018 MLB All-Star game.

Turner gave a tearful apology on Tuesday in a press conference after his own set of racist, homophobic, misogynistic and ableist tweets emerged.

The Nationals issued a press release on July 31.

Newcomb’s transgressions occurred in high school and were exposed on Sunday. Some people have commented online saying he was in high school, so we shouldn’t judge him for this, what they fail to realize is that Newcomb was 18 at the time he tweeted those racist and homophobic slurs, old enough to know better.

All four of these guys were adults at the time they tweeted their remarks. Why should they get to use the excuse of being young?

Yes, perceptions can change over time, but the fact of the matter is that these players obviously felt negatively towards a group of people at a point in time.

Therefore all of them should be required to take sensitivity training and participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives, like Hader.

Also, they should issue a public apology to the groups of people they offended and especially to the fans they let down.

Think before you tweet, because those twitter fingers may just come back to haunt you.

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About the Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Sports Editor

He is the Sports Editor at Talon Marks, after being a staff writer in his first year. At the Journalism Association of Community Colleges State Conference – 2018, Baruti took home an award for his Sports Writing. He is also a basketball connoisseur and huge Lakers fan. And will challenge anyone 1v1.

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Shmackem: Racism in the outfield