Sportress of Blogitude

Torii Hunter Isn’t Happy He Came Across Like An Ignorant Jerk When He Said Things An Ignorant Jerk Would Say

Torii Hunter is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore.

Now that the backlash regarding his comments are coming from all angles, Hunter would just like to point out that he’s not too pleased with how his comments have been portrayed when he labeled darker-skinned Latin American players as “imposters.” The comments, originally published in the USA Today , have stirred up quite a controversy for the Angels center fielder regarding some statements Hunter made during a recent panel discussion in which he took part. In case you somehow missed them, Hunter’s comments were as follows:

“People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they’re African American,” Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter says. “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,” Hunter says. “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.”

Now Hunter would like to just say that first of all, he’s not apologizing and secondly, what he said was, of course, “taken out of context.”

“I’m not apologizing because I didn’t say anything like that,” Hunter said before Wednesday’s exhibition game against Cincinnati. “I’m [ticked] right now. I’m upset. And people wonder why athletes don’t talk to the media that much. It’s stupid.

“That wasn’t even the main topic of the discussion. That was like a piece of the conversation, .5% of 100%. The main topic was that there are no scholarships for baseball. … It wasn’t a negative story. It was a positive story. I try to get a lot of inner-city kids to play the game. I’ve done the research. That’s why I have all the programs.”

Well, if it was only 0.5% of the conversation. Nevertheless, no matter what other issues he discussed, Hunter nevertheless called dark-skinned Latin American players “imposters.” Unless during the other 99.5% of the comments he made, Hunter took back what he said, I don’t see how the fact other issues were discussed has any relevance. Perhaps more damaging than anything was that Hunter insinuates that a Latin American ballplayer can be bought for a “bag of chips.” I cannot see any way his after-the-fact explanation justifies that statement.

But guess what? Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, who also took part in the panel discussion, says that “this too shall pass” and that Hunter “has a lot of Latin American friends.” I see. I bet Hunter has ever had them in his house once or twice, that’s how much he likes them. In any event, I’m sure Hunter’s Latin American “friends” truly appreciate his disparaging thoughts regarding them.

Torii Hunter upset about way he’s portrayed in USA Today article [The Fabulous Forum]
Panel Part III: Efforts to develop black talent in USA insufficient [USA Today]
Torii Hunter: black Dominican players are “imposters” [Hardball Talk]
Black Hispanic Ballplayers Aren’t Black Enough For Torii Hunter [Deadspin]