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My! It Shure Ain’t Sweet

Posted By Alex Belth On November 18, 2009 @ 1:28 pm In Baseball,Bronx Banter,Games We Play,Glenn Stout,Links: Sportswriting,Sports Illustrated,Sportswriting,Writers | Comments Disabled

Historian Glenn Stout finds the smoking gun concerning Tom Yawkey’s take on African Americans [1]. From a 1965 Sports Illustrated article on the Red Sox by Jack Mann [2]:

“They blame me,” Yawkey says, ‘and I’m not even a Southerner. I’m from Detroit.” Yawkey remains on his South Carolina fief until May because Boston weather before then is too much for his sensitive sinuses. “I have no feeling against colored people,” he says. “I employ a lot of them in the South. But they are clannish, and when that story got around that we didn’t want Negroes they all decided to sign with some other club. Actually, we scouted them right along, but we didn’t want one because he was a Negro. We wanted a ballplayer.”

Stout continues:

But then comes the first of two smoking guns: “But they are clannish,” Mann quotes Yawkey as saying of African Americans, “and when that story got around that we didn’t want Negroes they all decided to sign with some other club.”

No single sentence could be more revealing – or more pathetic. First Yawkey offers that all African Americans share the same characteristics – in this case, being “clannish.” That kind of stereotyping is damning enough, but when he states that “when that story got around that we didn’t want Negroes they all decided to sign with some other club,” he fantasy land. Yawkey is making the claim that the reason the Red Sox remained white is the fault of the black ballplayers themselves. He is saying nothing less than “African Americans erroneously thought we were racist so therefore they refused to sign with us.”

yawk


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URLs in this post:

[1] Glenn Stout finds the smoking gun concerning Tom Yawkey’s take on African Americans: http://verbplow.blogspot.com/2009/11/tom-yawkey-race-and-smoking-gun.html

[2] Sports Illustrated article on the Red Sox by Jack Mann: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1077374/index.htm

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