Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Caribbean" is an "Ethnic Slur"?

To be sure, it probably wasn't a wise thing to say if you live or work in the Socialist Republic of San Francisco.

Larry Krueger of the San Francisco Giants' flagship station KNBR is under fire today after criticizing the style of play common among players from certain Latin American countries. Angry at the team's play, he cited the "brain-dead Caribbean hitters swinging at slop nightly" as one of the club's problems.

Apparently, you can add "Caribbean" to the list of "unapproved" adjectives in the Bay Area. Not only is it dangerous to discuss religion and politics, but hitting characteristics of ballplayers from certain geographical regions are taboo too.

Apologizing for KNBR, Senior Vice President Tony Salvadore said that the station takes offense that Kreuger "defamed our Latin players with an ethnic slur."

Move aside, n-word, there's a new slur in town: the c-word. Go ahead, you can call someone "brain dead," but don't dare call them "Caribbean".

What the knee-jerk slur police are missing in this case is that Krueger was simply criticizing a style of play that he felt was not working for the struggling Giants. Players from the region are brought up in systems where they are trained to be free swingers, just as players on the Oakland A's, for example, are trained in a farm system that emphasizes plate discipline and the value of working the count.

If Krueger were an A's talk show host, would it be alright for him to pin blame on players from that farm system who take too many pitches? Of course it would! Why then can't he say something negative about a group of players whose training emphasizes an aggressive style of hitting?

In fact, it is certain that he would not be in any trouble today if he just left out the word, "Caribbean". He could have said that the team had "brain dead hitters who swing at slop nightly." Would it be better to criticise the whole lineup instead of being more specific? Apparently so.

So far they say Krueger will not lose his job. Yeah, right.

1 comment:

Laura said...

This was fascinating. Hadn't picked up on this story in the local papers. I hadn't heard the term "Caribbean" before to describe a style of play, so I learned something. The P.C. police are everywhere!! I'll be watching for more to develop on this story. Thanks.