Adam Jones : World class nimrod?

SoAdam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles has apparently called baseball “a white man’s game” out of some kind of strange solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and/or some kind of odd irritation with the racial balance of Major League Baseball.

The thing is, Major League Baseball is pretty representative of the racial makeup of the nation as a whole. It doesn’t track exactly with the exact racial makeup, but it’s far closer than any other sport out there, with some 40% more or less non-white players, which break down 28.5% hispanic, 8.3% black, 1.7% asian and 59.1% white.

So just what IS Adam Jones trying to say? That since it’s not 70% black like the NFL or NBA, it’s somehow not racially equitable? Even if you take it at face value, it seems like a vaguely butthurt comment, as he implies that black men have freedom in the NBA and NFL to protest, but in MLB, they’re somehow oppressed since there are so many white players.

I’m really confused here- this is a case where the sport IS a white man’s game, but that’s because the sport is actually representative of the nation’s population, and not wildly skewed toward black or white players like the NBA, NFL, WNBA and NHL. Same goes for MLS- it’s pretty representative as well.

Are we now at the point where sports and institutions that actually reflect the actual racial makeup of the country are somehow suspect as a result?

I tend to agree with what Adam Jones was saying. Which, my understanding is, it’s a lot easier for MLB to crack down on a black player protesting (if they chose) because he is easily replaced. There would be no need to worry about players banding together because there’s not enough to matter.

When someone says that baseball is a white man’s sport, he’s not talking about the players. He’s talking about the fans. Baseball is overwhelmingly a white spectator sport.

My understanding of his comments is that he wasn’t actually talking about the racial makeup of baseball, he’s talking about the culture of the sport. And I think that the argument could be made that the culture of baseball is overwhelmingly white. Major League Baseball is more steeped in tradition than any other sport in the US, and most of its traditions date back to before the sport was integrated. And virtually every time somebody tries to introduce a change to the culture of baseball to make it more reflective of baseball’s current demographics, “Old School” baseball pushes back against the changes and, in the end, baseball’s culture stays like it always has.

For all the talk about how the NFL stands for “No Fun League,” no sports league appears to try harder to keep players from embracing celebration than Major League baseball. And, in case you haven’t noticed, celebration appears to be a big part of how young minority athletes enjoy sports nowadays… Now, I’m not sitting here trying to say that this point of view is universal, so I don’t need to be inundated by #NotAllWhiteGuys baseball fan. But, one of the two reasons why I don’t really watch baseball is because I’m not really here for baseball’s “unwritten rules” and traditions. And, although my own son doesn’t like sports at all, when I ask my younger cousins and my nephews why they don’t like baseball, the answer I get is usually some derivation of “they don’t look like they get to have fun.” So, you can take that admittedly anecdotal information for whatever you think it’s worth.

What does that have to do with race? Celebration is a big part of how all youngsters enjoy sports.

It does seem like a lot of crackdowns on ‘celebration’ seem to target black players and how they like to celebrate - bat flips for one.

And yeah, Jones is talking about the culture of baseball and who the sport seems to cater to (which, partially is a cultural argument as well).

So is most every other one; the US is some 65% white. Even the NBA, which isn’t a “white” sport, still has 40% of its viewership from white people, which is probably a relatively tiny percentage of the total population.

I guess the cultural argument is pretty solid; what he was saying seemed really bizarre from a racial makeup perspective.

Yeah, but it doesn’t appear to be a big part of how players “enjoy” major league baseball.

I am not sure I fully understand how a player is more easily replaced if black than if they are white. Jones’s theory appears to be that MLB would more readily kick a black player out because there’s less chance of a mass walkout, I guess.

If only we had an example of a black baseball player who refused to do the anthem thing for a political reason, we could…


The most famous and controversial bat flip I can think of was by a white-looking Hispanic guy.

MLB has no rule or crackdown against bat flipping I am aware of.

Yeah, sure. No “rule.” They just throw at you at your next at bat.

I am reminded of a previous thread: Chris Rock’s Thoughts on Baseball

Is this particular to black players, though?

MLB players lean right, even discounting fruitloops like Curt Schilling. (cite)

Also, Adam Jones played for many years with a Birther

The point isn’t that it is a practice that is particular to black players. The point is that it is a practice that stymies expressions of joy, excitement, showmanship etc., which appears to disproportionately affect young players in general, and young non-white players in particular. I mean, yeah, there’s Bryce Harper, and a few others like him, but they seem to be the exceptions, rather than the rule. Let’s not pretend that the self-appointed guardians of baseball aren’t totally strident about maintaining the status quo about baseball’s culture.

As it pertains to American black athletes (isolated for clarity, since you thought that Carlos Delgado was pertinent to the discussion), when you consider that MLB has the strongest player’s unions in American sports, and ridiculous guaranteed contracts, with a much lower injury risk, relative to the NFL and the NBA, there has to be something that is causing young black athletes to feel discouraged from pursuing baseball. It’d be foolish to think that baseball’s culture doesn’t have a lot to do with that.

Adam Jones should watch this.

I had to search the article you linked to for anything about his activism. Which not even his teammates knew of until a published article. After which he was booed and traded, and suddenly started standing.

Of course there wouldn’t be a mass walk-out, there’s way too much money involved. Dissent can be suppressed without making a big fuss. The NFL has two very good players not playing right now. Chris Kluwe, a loud activist and Kerry Rhodes a quiet and reportedly closeted gay man.
ETA: To clarify, I hope, “white man’s game”, I hear as “shut up and play, we don’t want to hear your opinions.”

Not necessarily; it could be something cultural within the black community. Black kids don’t go in droves to soccer either, and I doubt that’s anything cultural within soccer, just a combination of lack of exposure and lack of community/cultural interest. In other words, there’s not necessarily something repellent about baseball culture or soccer culture, just nothing particularly attractive.

There’s also probably a certain bias within the community as those sports being “white”, and therefore off-limits or less desirable. Still doesn’t mean there’s anything about baseball itself repelling black players.

Black kids, as least all of my friends and classmates, had/have no issue playing baseball or soccer when we could. Finding open space and enough players for a side was an issue often. Basketball and football (and soccer) can be played with fewer players.

I’m not sure that one can attribute the lack of exposure or community cultural interest in soccer to baseball. I mean there is and has been plenty of exposure in baseball in black community in the US. Maybe there was more cultural interest in the past, but it’s a different level than soccer.

Anyways, these conversations are actually happening within soccer regarding the utter whiteness of the youth game in the US and how it can be changed.

Heh, people should avoid the name Adam Jones. The one in the NFL fits right in with the title…