The Drive Wednesday 4-10-13 – Gary Sheffield talks with The Drive about the startling fact that the amount of Black Americans has dwindled in Major League Baseball over the past 20 years. We ask him who he looked up to growing up, why he thinks black kids aren’t playing the sport of baseball, and what the commissioner should do to get young black players back in the game.
The great Gary Sheffield was just in Charlotte last week so we had the former baseball star on to discuss the recent story in the New York Times of the decrease in the amount of Black Americans playing in major league baseball.
“They don’t talk about the African American ball player in a positive way everything is always negative, so why would I (a young kid) want to subject myself to that”
“If you look at baseball there’s nothing about the hip hop industry that is involved in baseball and that’s the highest selling market”
“Major League Baseball hasn’t caught up yet…There’s never been a black artist performed at the All-Star game so why would Beyonce or Jay-Z come”
After a 2007 interview Gary had some interesting comments about race and its role in Major League Baseball so we ask him why he thinks black baseball players are treated differently in the league.
“I was basing that on the players that were there with me, Kenny Lofton Tony Womack guys like that…if you don’t make outsiders feel like insiders then that’s how we are going to feel.”
“You better believe anything I ever said when I was playing this game was factual, because you never saw anybody dispute what I said”
In closing we ask Gary why he thinks its taken Bud Selig the commissioner of Major League Baseball so long to come up with a solution to this problem.
“Because Bud Selig is trying to get ahead of the backlash that’s going to come when this movie (#42) does come out”
“He should’ve done this a long time ago just like with steroids, he should’ve listened to the players when we said everyone needs to be tested”