Have any our readers been following the silly controversy swirling around Dusty Baker, manager of baseball’s Chicago Cubs? Baker, who is African-American, opined that black and Hispanic ballplayers perform better than whites in hot weather because, as a group, they are used to working in the sun. He added that blacks were brought to this country for that reason. Sports talk nation can’t get enough of this story (at least for a day or two). In the snippets of discussion I’ve heard, the issue seems to come down to whether it’s okay for a black to engage in this sort of stereotyping about blacks. No one doubts that Baker’s views are out of bounds for whites.
I’m unsophisticated enough to think that it’s okay for anyone, even whites, to make such comments. But to the extent that Baker’s view raises concerns, the concerns exist regardless of the race of the holder. The only way that Baker’s view might become problematic is if a manager benched, traded, or released a white player based on this stereotype. And in that most unlikely event, it wouldn’t matter whether the offending manager was black, white, or Hispanic.
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