Black baseball players are shrinking
When we talk about black star players in the NBA, we will often hear the name of LeBron James or Michael Jordan. In the NFL, it’s more like Colin Kaepernick or Patrick Mahomes, for example. But what about MLB?
Among today’s players, we think mainly of Mookie Betts, Vladimir Guerrero Jr … but the list ends quickly. In fact, according to a recent census, only 8% of the league’s players are black.
What does this indicate for sport?
At first glance, this statistic may make us think that since these sports will seek greater popularity among the public, higher ratings, this does not represent such a great deficit for the visibility of the black race, in sport, in North America.
For Michele Meyer-Shipp, who is black, it goes further than that. As the popular culture director of Major League Baseball, she advocates for her three boys to recognize a greater representation of themselves in their favorite sport, through the players.
In a discussion on the subject last week, there was a lot of discussion about the marketing and promotion of Black players in baseball. We want to encourage more young people to take part in the game, so that it is no longer perceived by society as a “white sport”.
Dave Roberts, Bianca Smith, Bo Porter and Lewis Brinson were also on this panel. The latter, who plays with the Miami Marlins, spoke of the difficulty in his youth to integrate into baseball, speaking precisely of this stigma with the black community of South Florida, where he grew up. His goal today as a Major has not changed: he wants to work to promote it. Lately, Brinson has been to poorer areas of different cities across the United States to donate equipment and support Black baseball players, among other things, which he says was very important to him.
It is often said that it is important for everyone to be able to have a representation of oneself in order to be able to reach a level that one is aiming for. And for young black baseball players in the country, this is of course of paramount importance, given the decline that we have seen in the sport in recent years.
We have seen some black baseball players in the past: Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and Joe Carter have all enjoyed runaway success in the league, and are all honored for their exploits, in one way or another. another. Who will take over in the next five, ten years?
Because these black players are not looking to be offered a chance. They want an opportunity.