After dealing with what happened with Adam Jones in Fenway Park only weeks ago, Major League Baseball is dealing with even more racism and bigotry this week.
On Tuesday, Phillies legend and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, a current Phillies broadcaster, decided to let the world know how he really feels when he said that teams can only be constructed around English-speaking players.
“First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game,” said Schmidt as he commented on Phillies star Odubel Herrera. “Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. Or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ Just can’t be — because of the language barrier — that kind of a player.”
However, bench-clearing brawls are “a part of the game.” But if the slightest tussle happens in sports like basketball and football, where the rosters are dominated by athletes of color, then players are quickly slapped with the “thug” label. Did anyone call Bryce Harper a thug for charging the mound last week and firing his helmet (and missing badly) at reliever Hunter Strickland, before striking Strickland with his fists? Nope. Most of the baseball world said his actions were justified.
During the World Baseball Classic in March, Detroit Tigers infielder Ian Kinsler confirmed some of those notions.