[Marxism] Bonds Hits No. 756 to Break Hank Aaron's Record

Naveen Jaganathan naveenkj3 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 07:42:14 MDT 2007


"This is something we, as African-American athletes, live with every day, I
don't need a headline that says, 'Bonds says there's racism in the game of
baseball.' We all know it. It's just that some people don't want to admit
it. They're going to play dumb like they don't know what the hell is going
on." -- Bonds quoted in USA Today.

No serious commentator on this issue has said, "If you don't like Bonds, or
if you think he cheated, you're racist."  No one is making that argument.

But if you walk around pretending racism doesn't exist in sports, or that
sports commentators aren't using Bonds and manipulating racist imagery of
Blacks to serve their own interests, for sensationalism and profit, THEN YOU
SIMPLY DON"T GET IT!  As an anectdote, I was listening to Colin Cohwerd on
ESPN radio yesterday, who said something at the end of the segment about
Bonds being an "over-sized athelete cheating his way to making the big
bucks."  Yes, there's nothing overtly racist about that statement.  I don't
know about you, but I cringed when I heard that.  It is only a little-step
away from more nastier things that have been said about Black athletes.  The
perspective in the media of Black athletes is necessarily a White one.
Listen to Black radio, and White commentators on ESPN, the difference is
pretty clear.

It is not true that everyone sees Bonds in equal light.  Every poll
conducted on the issue has pointed to the split between Blacks and Whites in
support for Bonds, by a 2-1 margin.  Surely Black folks are also concerned
about steroid use, but unless you're going to argue they don't understand
racism when they see it, it would best to at least acknowledge that racism
taints everything.  The witch-hunt against Bonds, the language that is used,
cannot be divorced by the larger context of deep-seated racist perceptions
of Black athletes in American sports.

There are few overtly racist people today than there were when Henry Aaron
was balling -- no doubt.  But there's a perceived notion that is widely
accepted that the "good old days" of honest sports is gone and replaced now
with a "hip-hop" culture of sports taht is to be derided.  There's an
element of truth to this perception of dishonesty in sports.  But we should
point out the increased competition in sports, the need to increase ratings,
to increase profits, is what is driving sports towards disingenuity.

As far as whether his record is "tainted" or not.  There's no evidence to
support Bonds used steroids.  He hasn't been convicted of anything, and all
the supposed evidence are allegations. Look, the game is very different than
it was 20 or 30 years ago.  Steroids are widely used, due to
the institutional reasons mentioned above, and everyone is tainted with it.
The fast balls faced by Bonds are faster than they were 20 years ago.  The
center-fielder chasing a fly ball is faster than athletes of yester-year.
In the end it all balances out.

But if you don't get racism is driving this debate... you just don't get


On 8/8/07, Danielle Ni Dhighe <danielle at irsm.org> wrote:
> At 04:28 PM 8/8/2007, Carrol Cox wrote:
> >Let us say that impolite blacks have always gotten very
> >bad treatment from u.s. sports writers.
> Oh, I don't disagree, but I think the idea that criticism is only
> coming from sports writers is incorrect.  There are many ordinary
> sports fans (of all colors) who feel, well, cheated by the
> possibility that Barry Bonds' performance on the baseball field was
> enhanced (and, in fact, there is sound reason for their suspicion,
> despite nothing being proven in court).  Writing it off as a case of
> racism, as Walter and the articles he posted did, is offensive.
> Danielle Ni Dhighe
> Coordinating Committee Member
> Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
> danielle at irsm.org - http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html
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