On a day when MLB celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, most of the discussion turns to the declining numbers of African Americans in the game today.
It is sad that there are seventeen MLB teams this season with two or fewer African Americans on the roster. According to USA Today, in 2009 MLB rosters were 10.2% African American. This year that number is down to 9.5%.
I give baseball credit for its efforts to increase that number by implementing programs like R.B.I. (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities). However, some players don't feel enough is being done.
In a USA Today article, Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson questioned whether a lack of African Americans in baseball, especially older veterans who are without jobs like Jermaine Dye, is a result of underlying racism.
What do you think? Is baseball as an institution doing enough to recruit young African Americans and create opportunities for them to develop, as it does with Latin American players?
Or, is it a cultural issue: young African American children simply are choosing other sports over baseball. Or, was Hudson correct? Can we attribute any of this to racism that may still exist?