Is Felipe overreacting? Absolutely not. Felipe calling Krueger a "messenger of Satan"? Was that really necessary? Sure, it's easy for fans like us to say, "Well, why don't we just move on?" or "Felipe is totally blowing this out of proportion," but how many of us have gone through what Felipe has gone through? How many of us have suffered through racism all our lives, and at age seventy, we finally think that we've settled into a good time and a good place to live where racism is looked down upon and the streets are safe for every and all races to come together without doubt and without question?
Sure, maybe "Caribbean" isn't a racism term. Were there other words that Krueger could have used other than "Caribbean"? Definitely. Such as the stereotype that Latinos and "Caribbeans" are slow and dumb, Krueger's choice of using that term was indeed an act of stupidity and insensitivity. Was Krueger right on about the Giants being impatient at the plate, especially after losing two games in a row to baseball's worst team? He certainly was, and every fan shared his pain, anger, and frustration, but how many of us threw the remote at the TV and said, "Those stupid Caribbean players can't work the count"? How many of us shut the radio off and blamed all the Caribbean players for how much our team is sucking this year?
Probably not very many, probably none at all, but to think that a radio talk show host, a man who knows that hundreds, if not thousands, of people are listening to his show and listening to every word he is saying. He unprofessionally blames the Giants' losses on the Caribbean players by singling out the "race" instead of saying that the Giants as a team aren't doing well, and instead of singling out individual players who have not been patient at the plate. Krueger definitely didn't mean Lance Niekro in his comments about "brain-dead Caribbean players hacking at slop."
I'm not by any means saying that Krueger is racist, but true colors do show in times of frustration. Shortstop Omar Vizquel's comparison of Krueger to John Rocker is a little harsh, but here we can see how much Krueger's comments really hurt the Latino players. How do we have the right to tell these guys whether or not they're overreacting when we're not even in their shoes? How can we tell them to "just forget about it" and move on and "just keep playing baseball"?
Accepting an apology will mean that Felipe and the rest of the Latino players on his team has forgiven Krueger for his comments. By not accepting the apology, Felipe sends out a message to everyone around baseball, especially the Latino players, that they should not tolerate these insensitive, inappropriate, and unprofessional comments.
Racism is no joke, and to those of us who have experienced not being able to do something because of our race, or those of us who have experienced taunting and loneliness because of our race, we would definitely think that this isn't "just a comment blown out of proportion."
Sara Kwan is a writer for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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