The 2018 National Basketball Association Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC), put out by the University of Central Florida, gleefully reported “80.7 percent of the NBA’s players were people of color,The percentage of players who were classified as African-American in the league was 73.9 percent. The percentage of white NBA players was 19.3 percent. They gave the grade of an A+ for the diversity in the league (lower number of whites the better in this scoring system).”
THE 2018 RACIAL AND GENDER REPORT CARD: NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAUGE noted, “During the NFL’s 2016 season, the percent of African-American players increased from 69.2 percent in the 2015 season to 69.7 percent in 2016. The percent of white players decreased from 27.9 percent in 2015 to 27.4 percent in 2016.” They also awarded the league an A+ for its diversity (or lack of whites, a fact worthy of praise).
Major League Baseball is only 7.7 percent black, thus a problem arises. Too many white people are still employed, meaning baseball has a “white problem.”[Beyond the pale: Baseball’s so-called black issues caused by its white problem, Chicago Sun-Times, April 27, 2019]:
I’m the problem.
If not the problem, then at least the issue.
Me, those who look like me, sound like me, view the world through a light-colored, male prism that sets agendas, makes rules and decides what’s mainstream or “normal” in American culture – or its subcultures, such as baseball.
“Middle-aged white men,” said Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Jones.
Just look at the average baseball press box during a game, the average baseball front office, the average executive walking around Major League Baseball’s headquarters in New York.
And then when you hear about the racist messages and taunts players such as the Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr. must endure – or the absurd thinking that went into suspending Tim Anderson of the White Sox for his use of a certain word – it should start to become self evident to those who would continue to traffic in tired white-splaining of non-white experiences, in this game and in this society:
The so-called black issues in baseball – whether it’s the causes behind the extreme under-representation of African-Americans or the continual incidence of racist jeers and treatment – are white problems.
And if the first step in solving a problem is to admit it exists, maybe it’s time that the next conversation on this issue begins there.
“It sucks, but you’ve got middle-aged white men telling everybody else what to do in the world,” Jones said. “I didn’t make that part up. That’s just what you see on TV. That’s what you see in real life. It’s history.”
It’s certainly baseball.
Jones made headlines in 2016 when he explained that the reason you don’t see the kind of social-justice protests in MLB that Colin Kaepernick inspired in the NFL is because “baseball is a white man’s sport” and that there are so few black players in the majors (7.7 percent) that “you might as well not kick yourself out of the game” by speaking up.
Despite gains in hiring diversity in recent years, according to an annual study, MLB’s top eight ranking decision makers are all white men, including the commissioner, its two deputy commissioners, and chief baseball officer Joe Torre – the league’s discipline head.
Baseball already knows it has a demographics problem when it comes to getting young people to watch its increasingly slow-paced game and what that might mean for the future.
What’s said less often is that its middle-aged-white-guy skew continues to prove problematic when it comes to growing the game relative to other American team sports.
Black players for decades have talked about a game they sometimes play during slow moments between innings.
“I play the same game. I know the game you’re talking about,” Edwards said. “Count the black fans.”
It usually doesn’t take long.
“I love everybody,” Edwards added. “But at the end of the day, that’s just what we’re surrounded by.”
The demographics gap not only is about fan bases and the executive structure, but it also impacts the game’s ability to attract non-white American players and often how it’s portrayed by the media.
The anti-white mindset pervades every aspect of American life. 59 percent of MLB rosters are white (41 percent are people of color, but an insufficient number of these players are black), meaning the league has a “white problem” until the rosters have the same racial breakdown as the NFL and the NBA.
Do you get yet? Diversity is nothing more than chasing away white people and limiting the number of opportunities for whites.