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Torii Hunter's comments on black, Latino players cause a stir

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torii-hunter-latino.JPGLos Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter has clarified some statements about Latino players he recently made as part of a USA Today roundtable that were published Wednesday.

In the piece, Hunter is quoted as saying, "People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they're African-American. They're not us. They're impostors. Even people I know come up and say: 'Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?' I say, 'Come on, he's Dominican. He's not black.' ...

"As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It's like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?' ... I'm telling you, it's sad."

Today, Hunter attempted to suss out what he really meant by these comments.
"What troubles me most was the word "impostors" appearing in reference to Latin American players not being black players. It was the wrong word choice, and it definitely doesn't accurately reflect how I feel and who I am," Hunter wrote on his blog. "What I meant was they're not black players; they're Latin American players. There is a difference culturally. But on the field, we're all brothers, no matter where we come from, and that's something I've always taken pride in: treating everybody the same, whether he's a superstar or a young kid breaking into the game. Where he was born and raised makes no difference."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, never one to shy away from anything, weighed in before today's game against the Oakland Athletics.

"I remember in my time, one scout goes [to Venezuela and] 30 players show up," he said. "Now, 30 scouts go there and one player shows up. In our country, we play baseball. That's no choice. Here you can play basketball, you can be another athlete, you can do so many things when you have the opportunity. And that's why there's not many [African-American] players out there."

In 2008, black players accounted for 10.2 percent of the majors. the most since 1995 according to the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.

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1 Comment

Culture does not determine race. The Dominican players are Black (obviously)just not African American.

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