UPDATE: Sheer racism, exposed in vile letters directed to Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, have poured into the Atlanta Braves offices over the past week.
Yes, it was like 1974 all over again, the year Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, with letters laced with the most hateful epithet known to African Americans.
“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).”
I don’t agree with Hank Aaron’s statement implying opponents of President Obama are comparable to the Klansmen of generations past. I don’t think The Hammer meant to say that, to be honest. Later in that same interview Aaron said race relations have improved in America but there was still a “long ways to go.”
John Rocker, in his World Nut Daily column – published on Jackie Robinson Day, an irony lost on the author – proves him right.
His comments were deplorable and unbefitting of baseball’s all-time home run king, but this isn’t the first time Aaron has made comments that should be questioned.
Back in 2010, Aaron bemoaned the lack of black players in Major League Baseball (MLB), as if some invisible force was keeping young black kids from playing the game. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported he was encouraged that one of the Atlanta Braves’ new stars – the talented Jason Heyward – could be the new face of the franchise.
Except Aaron didn’t blame an invisible force from keeping young blacks from playing baseball. His concern is shared by many in the game, white and black.
But Rocker would rather settle some childish score with an 80-year-old icon for comments Aaron made after the then-Braves reliever’s racist rants in Sports Illustrated.
“To be honest with you, I was very sick and disgusted with the whole situation. For someone in the situation of Mr. Rocker to make those statements is ridiculous. I have no place in my heart for that.”
My sentiments exactly. Any right-thinking person would object to someone who admits to hating foreigners. “You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”
Rocker neglects to mention that Aaron met with him after the controversial interview, a move that offered the loutish lefty a chance at redemption.
“It went well, as far as the talk,” Aaron told me. “I don’t know how much impact we had on him.”
I’ll let Rocker answer that.
“I’ve taken a lot of crap from a lot of people—probably more than anybody in the history of the sport. I know Hank and Jackie took a great deal of crap, but I guarantee it wasn’t for six years.”
And that tells you all you need to know about John Rocker, just one more racist who views himself as the victim of the very disease he spreads every time he opens his mouth.