Last Wednesday, Ben Walker of the Associated Press surveyed our fractured, divided land and zeroed in on one of the most pressing issues of our day: there aren’t enough black players in the World Series. Walker doesn’t have the slightest shred of evidence to support the contention that this is because of racism, but that’s nonetheless the thrust of his article, and it’s no surprise: it wouldn’t be a day ending with a y if the establishment media didn’t find some “racism” in the United States. Where none exists, it has to be invented.
Walker made a stark comparison that actually seemed to reveal some racism until you think about it for half a second: “Looking around Memorial Stadium before Game 1 of the 1983 World Series, Philadelphia Phillies star Gary Matthews saw a lot of Black talent. Joe Morgan. Eddie Murray. Garry Maddox. Ken Singleton. Al Bumbry. Disco Dan Ford. And plenty more that night in Baltimore.” But now, “for the first time since 1950, shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier, there project to be no U.S.-born Black players in this World Series. Zero.”
Gee, that’s terrible. And it’s clearly a sign that “systemic racism” is nowhere more systemic than in Major League Baseball, which clearly, despite turning Jackie Robinson into a demigod and obsessively courting black players, behind closed doors is a regular Klan meeting. There are all sorts of contemporary equivalents of Gary Matthews, Joe Morgan, Eddie Murray, Garry Maddox, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry, and Disco Dan Ford out there, but they’re not being given a shot at the big leagues, because MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners of the Major League Baseball teams are a pack of white supremacists, right?
Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, apparently thinks that: there are all sorts of great black players out there who just aren’t being given a fighting chance: “That is eye opening,” Kendrick said. “It is somewhat startling that two cities that have high African American populations, there’s not a single Black player. It lets us know there’s obviously a lot of work to be done to create opportunities for Black kids to pursue their dream at the highest level.”
But really, are there a lot of young black men who dream of playing Major League Baseball but don’t have any chance to try? That’s unlikely in the extreme. The relentless idolizing of Robinson, who was a Hall of Fame player but not really a god at all, is just one of many indications that Major League Baseball would be positively thrilled to showcase a new generation of black stars. The problem, however, is not that there are deserving black players who are being denied a chance to play baseball; the problem is that black Americans just aren’t playing baseball the way they used to.
Back when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, baseball was still by far the dominant sport in America. In the days of segregation, there was enough interest in baseball among black Americans to keep several black-only leagues going, and when Robinson broke the color barrier, there was a large number of great black players ready to shine in the major leagues. But since then, football and basketball have rivaled and in many ways eclipsed baseball, and it doesn’t take deep familiarity with the popular culture to see that there just isn’t an interest in baseball among young black Americans, and young Americans in general, that there used to be. This isn’t because of racism. It’s because there is, for a variety of reasons, more interest in other sports. In exactly the same way, the National Basketball Association is filled with black players; there are few white Americans competing at that level and less interest in basketball among young whites. Racism? Of course not. Some people are simply interested in some things that don’t interest others.
But Ben Walker and AP don’t write stories about an alarming dearth of whites in the NBA, because the only racism that fits the establishment media narrative is anti-black racism, and even though the rosters of the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies have nothing whatsoever to do with racism, Walker saw his chance to further the idea that we are worse off today in terms of racism than we were in the bad old days of Orval Faubus and Theodore Bilbo. This is how AP and its colleagues sow society-wide resentment and division, and why they deserve the disgust and contempt of all rational and fair-minded people.