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Let's start the day with something non-controversial: racism

Feb 11, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

Moshe Mandel at TYU wants to know if it’s not curious that some writers assume that Felix Hernandez will be more likely to become complacent and lazy now that he has a big contract than Justin Verlander will.  Or whether there is any rational explanation for thinking that Dustin Pedroia “cares more” about his team and winning than Robinson Cano.  What’s really at play here, Mandel wonders:

Baseball fans are commonly exposed to this sort of dichotomy, in which
white players are often presented as gritty and do everything they can
to maximize their talents, while minority players are “athletic” and
“smooth,” and “make it look easy out there.” The successes of white
players are attributed to effort, while the successes of non-white
players are explained by inherent ability. Failures by minorities
players are often explained by pointing to a lack of effort. Failures
by white players have a way of occasionally being rationalized away or
even forgotten.

The scientific name for this is aversive racism, and it’s pretty rampant. Orlando Hudson is fast. The white guy is a “possession receiver.” The black leftfielder is “gifted.” The white second baseman is scrappy and likes to get his uniform dirty. And as Mandel points out, what is the deal with Paul O’Neill not getting any crap for not running out those ground balls in Game 3 of the 1999 World Series?

Thought provoking stuff, definitely worth a click-through to TYU this morning.

  1. C-LO - Mar 10, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    When comparing how come we(they), use the worst example vs. the best example. There are plenty of Ryan Leaf’s, Joba Chamberlain’s, Christian Laettner’s , out there. When a person of color earns the right to be a top earner by way of his / her stats (hard work), an agents influence over major league teams during contract negotiations should not give us a right to judge from a far and expect it to hold weight. We all deal with it in our daily lives, those who take sports personal probably don’t even know how to throw a ball! -gotta love that racial descrimination is still alive with some, then they wonder why…………….

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