Black Athlete Sports Network, April 14, 2008
What Torrii Hunter said last year before April 15 is well worth mentioning again this year and each year until things get better here is Torrii Hunter last year
As presented in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, “This is supposed to be an honor, and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you’ve got entire teams doing it. I think we’re killing the meaning. It should be special wearing Jackie’s number, not just because it looks cool.”
“When you have a team that doesn’t have any African American players on the team, and then everybody on the team wears it, yes, it’s watered down, because they don’t have blacks to represent Jackie Robinson over there,” Hunter said.
Not only is it ridiculous it is an OUTRAGE that a team the Houston Astros without a single African American player nor manager or coach for that matter EVERY MEMBER OF THE TEAM WORE #42 LAST APRIL 15. At best that is a very BAD joke.
Actually the worst conceivable INSULT TO JACKIE ROBINSON. Short of lynching him. Image Robinson alive today seeing an MLB team WITHOUT even one African American on it. Just the way Baseball WAS before he entered the Majors on April 15, 1947. Does anyone really think that Robinson would have anything to do with that team. Or allow everyone on the Houston Astros to get away with wearing his number 42.
Well Torrii Hunter is very much alive and in return for that very logical comment he was hounded and get this called a RACIST
Now in 2008 it is the Colorado Rockies with the “distinction” of having NO African American players on their roster. But thank God for small favors. The entire Rockies team will NOT wear # 42 Tuesday just 3 players one from the Dominican Republic, another from Venezuela and a White Guy Matt Herges. And ready for another SMALL favor ? Among the 21 coaches and team staff yes there is ONE African American Glenallen Hill the First Base Coach. Will he be wearing # 42 ??
In 2007, Ken Griffey Jr. asked permission to wear No. 42 on the annual Jackie Robinson Day. Commissioner Bud Selig loved the idea and invited other players to join in. On some clubs, one player wore No. 42. On other clubs, several players did. On still others, every player did.
This is what Los Angeles Angels outfield Torii Hunter said, to USA Today: “This is supposed to be an honor, and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you’ve got entire teams doing it. I think we’re killing the meaning. It should be special wearing Jackie’s number, not just because it looks cool.”
What upset Hunter, he says now, was this: The Houston Astros had no black players on their team last April, and yet the entire team wore No. 42. Said Hunter: “That got it away from, ‘OK, we don’t have any blacks,'” he said. To Hunter, a roster with no black players did not represent the progress for which Robinson stood, and baseball celebrated according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.