Racism remains a big open sore spot in America and in the World. Sadly, this has been so for generations upon generations. This is well known to anyone of any color and any age in any corner of the Globe. People disrespecting and belittling others (or worse).
Every one of us regardless of our age and color has experienced racism in some form. Every single one of us.
But racism in baseball has an extra layer of sensitivity. Anyone who know the history of baseball and the story of Jackie Robinson knows the difficulty and pain that players with darker skin tones of all races have endured to finally find a home in the big leagues.
Sox fans – and baseball fans around the country – know how talented Tim Anderson is on the ball field. But he brings something more than just quick feet and a strong arm and a hot bat to the game. He brings a flash and flair and attitude to the field that says, "I’m going to be me and enjoy myself. And if you don’t like it you can just Eff Off". And he says all that with a bit of a smile but with a look in his eyes that is stone-cold serious.
There are some things today that you just don’t do. You do not say anything to a person of another race that in any way belittles or disrespects them – not even in jest. And it’s NOT about how you intend your remark. It’s about how the other person might feel about it.
We are long past a time when anything about race can be joked about. The issue is too serious and too sensitive and the wounds still too open and deep for that. You just stay the hell away from the subject outside of a serious discussion in a serious setting.
If you want to have a serious discussion about race and the social contract, so be it. That’s always needed. But you can’t joke about race... or someone’s wife... or someone’s mother... things like that. You just don’t do it unless you are a stupid fool who is trying to create trouble.
The City of Chicago and the White Sox organization can be damn proud of and is fortunate to have Tim Anderson playing on the Great South Side of Chicago. He not only represents the future of the old ball game but he represents the Chicago area and Sox fans around the World. He has passion. He has edge. The desire to win burns in him, just like it does in all Sox fans. And he knows what it means to be disrespected. And if there is one thing that all Sox fans know about, it is the feeling of being disrespected.
The Sox have many decades of reasons and painful seasons to hate the Yankees. We didn’t need another one. But another one, we have been given.
Maybe some good will result from what was said by a Yankee to Tim Anderson and what that represents. Maybe Tim will use this to fuel his game even to even further heights like Michael Jordan did from the slights that he received in his life. Maybe this will finally bring the White Sox team together instead of them being the sluggish and disinterested ball club they have been since the season started... sleepwalking through the season in a weak division.
But even more importantly, maybe this will finally put a serious dent in the culture of racism in baseball and in our larger World. Maybe this give people another reason to question what they believe about race and why believe what they do. And how someone else might take a remark.
Maybe... just maybe... Jackie Robinson is looking down at Tim Anderson and smiling today.
And maybe the human race will finally get about the job of being a human family instead of a bunch of warring tribes. And for those on the ball diamond who still refuse to grow up... then maybe at least they’ll learn to keep their damn mouths shut when they should.