Chris Rock: Comedian Talks About Why African-Americans Have Lost Interest in Baseball [Video] #MMBSports
“Why don’t black people like baseball anymore?” That’s the question that Chris Rock posed yesterday on HBO‘s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (yes, Bryant Gumbel), wondering aloud how it came to be that America’s pastime has lost touch with black fans after all these years. He also offers up an impressive dossier of explanations: African American players have become increasingly scarce on the diamond and in the dugout. The population of black players across the MLB has fallen from 20 percent in the mid-80s to 8 percent today. Last year’s World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants, won with a roster that held zero black players. None. And neither did their World Series opponents, the St. Louis Cardinals.
But it goes deeper than just an overflow of ivory-white baseball squads. “It’s the game,” Rock asserts. “It’s old-fashioned and stuck in the past. You’ve got the white-haired, white guy announcers, you’ve got cheesy old organ music at the game–I mean, where’s the Beats By Dre?!” The comedian rightly asserts that during the “good old days” that pro baseball fetishizes, the state of segregation and racial bigotry was deplorable in this country. Rock chides the game itself for being too slow-paced and riddled with outdated customs that punish celebration, personality and, well, fun. “It’s the only game where there’s a ‘right way’ to play the game–the white way,” Rock says. His facts are firm and analysis convincing–even if you’re a staunch baseball fan, you can’t argue with the grim picture Rock paints of the sport’s collapsing future, and the clip is all the more compelling on account of Rock’s affection for the sport. He wants it to improve, to right its wrongs and connect with black culture, rather than fade away into bland lily-white obscurity. Watch his scathing (and hilarious) takedown below. Here’s hoping he checks pro hockey next.