WHAT THE F**K? | AN OPEN LETTER TO GARY SHEFFIELD
By Led Black
Gary Sheffield on why there are so few Black players in the Majors nowadays. "I called it years ago. What I called is that you’re going to see more black faces, but there ain’t no English going to be coming out. … (It’s about) being able to tell (Latin players) what to do — being able to control them. Where I’m from, you can’t control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that’s a person that you’re going to talk to with respect, you’re going to talk to like a man. These are the things my race demands. So, if you’re equally good as this Latin player, guess who’s going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys."
Yo Sheff, what up man? We don’t mean to be disrespectful in any way. I mean, we here at the República Update respect your drive, your game and your long and fruitful career. With that said, what in the world possessed you to make those ignorant and extremely hurtful comments about Latino baseball players in the June issue of GQ magazine? In essence, you basically stated that all Latino baseball players are dumb, submissive Uncle Toms who aren’t that talented but their willingness to kiss their master’s feet makes them more manageable. Do you hear yourself? I always find it ironic when a person that is a victim of stereotypes decides to indulge in the same nonsense themselves. With those few venomous words you just completely belittled the efforts, accomplishments and brilliance of every Latino player from Roberto Clemente to Juan Marichal to Sammy Sosa to Manny Ramirez. I don’t expect an apology, in fact when you tried to clarify your initial comments with more ignorance you just made matters worse. This Tuesday you had this to say; "They have more to lose than we do. You can send them back across the island. You can’t send us back. We’re already here." If that is your idea of a mea culpa, thanks but not thanks. Could it be that Baseball no longer captures the imaginations of young African-Americans the way that basketball and football does? I think outspoken Chicago White Sox Manager, Ozzie Guillen, hit the nail on the head with his comments to the New York Daily News on the subject; "I guarantee that Latin American people play more baseball than any people, because that’s all we have," Guillen told the newspaper. "You have more people playing baseball in Venezuela or the Dominican than anywhere, so there are going to be more players from there. It’s not that they can control us; maybe when we come to this country, we’re hungry, We’re trying to survive. Those guys sign for $500,000 or $1 million and they’re made. We have a couple of dollars. You can sign one African-American player for the price of 30 Latin players. Look at how many Latin players have won Cy Young’s or MVP awards the last couple of years, how many Latin players have been in the All-Star Game; it’s quantity and quality." Well put, Ozzie. Going forward Gary, if you don’t know what you are talking about then just keep your mouth shut, it is better to be a mute than a fool anyday…put the hater-ade down, you are making an ass of yourself!!!