William C. Rhoden writes that Sheffield is right…
[Sheffield] spent most of the week responding and not responding to comments he made in an article in GQ magazine to the effect that Latino players are more desirable to major league teams because they are easier to control than African-American players.
Sheffield’s choice of the word control was harsh. There is a malaise among athletes in general in terms of challenging the status quo. But at a time when immigration is a searing topic, Sheffield raised a crucial issue about a delicate subject: the competition for jobs between African-American and Latino players in Major League Baseball.
“Baseball has a choice of which black faces it wants representing baseball,” Sheffield said Thursday during a telephone interview. “They’re choosing Latinos. What I was saying is that they’re choosing them because they can sign them for $2,000 and if they don’t take it, what do they have to do? They got to go back to where they’re from and they got to eat hot dogs for dinner.”
Rhoden is wrong and more importantly Sheffield is wrong. If Sheffield wants to draw a line between Americans and Latin Americans, he can try and do so, but he will have some real factual, as well as logical, problems in those efforts. But to say that baseball is choosing which black faces to employ is RIDICULOUS, and some of his other comments certainly utilize racial stereotypes and overgeneralizations. The idea that immigrants are taking American jobs is certainly worth discussing, as is the “draft,” but making it into a differential racial issue is not only inaccurate, it’s destructive.
Try again, NY Times. This was an easy one, and you got it wrong.