Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka (Credit Image: © Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA Wire)

A Boston Red Sox analyst is at the heart of a racism controversy after suggesting that allowing translators on the field should be illegal.

Jerry Remy made the remark after Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is Japanese, communicated via a translator during a team meeting last night.

In an on-air exchange with Dave O’Brien, broadcast on NESN, he said: ‘I forgot with Tanaka they take out a translator. I don’t think that should be legal.’

Pressed on why it offended him so much, Remy continued: ‘Learn baseball language. Learn – it’s pretty simple.

‘You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.’

Tanaka, who does not speak fluent English, joined the Yankees in 2014.

It sparked a fierce reaction on social media, and followed hot on the heels of remarks made by Mike Schmidt, who suggested a language barrier could hold Odubel Herrera back from being a key player for the Phillies.

Speaking on 94 WIP, Schmidt said: ‘My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things.

‘First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game.

‘Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game.’

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