*So, is Torii Hunter hatin’ on our Latino brethren or is he just tellin’ it like it tis?
Either way, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder has stirred up controversy with his recent comments about baseball’s use of dark skinned (black) players from the Caribbean and South America.
“People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they’re African American,” Hunter tells USA Today. “They’re not us. They’re impostors.
“Even people I know come up and say, ‘Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?’ I say, ‘Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.’ “
The fact is baseball’s African-American population is 8%, compared with 28% for foreign players on last year’s opening-day rosters.
“As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us,” Hunter reminded. “It’s like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?’
“I’m telling you, it’s sad.”
Now that the story has had time marinate, Hunter is changing his tune somewhat. He wants to clarify his use of the word “imposters.” Here’s what he posted on his blog:
“I am hurt by how the comments attributed to me went off the track and misrepresented how I feel. My whole identity has been about bringing people together, from my neighborhood to the clubhouse. The point I was trying to make was that there is a difference between black players coming from American neighborhoods and players from Latin America. In the clubhouse, there is no difference at all. We’re all the same.
“We all come from different places and backgrounds. Coming from Pine Bluff, Ark., my hometown, is no different than being a kid from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. We all share the common bond of a love of baseball, and it pulls us together on the field and in the clubhouse,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the article’s author, said he spoke by phone with Hunter for 30 minutes Wednesday after the player’s blog update was posted.
“He said: ‘I’m not going to apologize. I told the truth. I’m sorry if I used the wrong choice of words, but impostor is not a racist word,”‘ Nightengale said. “He’s more upset by the reaction to the story.”
Read more HERE.