On Tuesday, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones told USA Today that he believed the silence among African-American baseball players was due to the fact that “baseball is a white man’s sport.” A day later Yankees’ CC Sabathia couldn’t disagree with the sentiment.
“It’s tough for us, yeah,” Sabathia told the Daily News when asked if he agreed with Jones’ assertion that African-American players can’t afford to take a stand in a sport where they make up only 8% of the players.
“I don’t know if people are afraid (to speak out), but there are not a lot of us,” said Sabathia, who believes some African-American players would be speaking out if there were more of them in the game. “It makes it kind of awkward.”
When asked directly if most black players feel that baseball is a “white man’s sport” or at least not a black man’s sport, Sabathia also concurred.
“Exactly, I think so,” he said.
After Colin Kaepernick stood up — or sat down, to be specific — during the Star-Spangled Banner for the first time last month, Sabathia said a protest of that nature wouldn’t have been his choice if he was going to try to make a statement about the racial oppression taking place throughout the United States.
Sabathia commended the 49ers quarterback for taking his non-violent stance for something he believes in, though no player in Major League Baseball has joined Kaepernick in his protest during the national anthem.
On August 29, Sabathia said he wouldn’t join Kaepernick in his anthem protest, as his brother-in-law served in Iraq and had done a couple of tours of duty. But Kaepernick’s personal protest had resulted in more conversation about many serious social issues, something Sabathia was pleased to see.
“It does; we’re talking about it,” Sabathia said at the time. “The conversation is not being started; we’re kind of in the middle of it. It’s a lot of stuff that’s went on the past couple months; not really just the past couple months, but forever. I think it’s a good, non-violent way to try to get some change.”
Yet as of now, neither Sabathia nor any other African-American players have joined in with their NFL brethren