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Soon-to-be former Oklahoma University quarterback/outfielder Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, is weighing opportunities to play professional football and baseball. Instead of accepting the freedom of African-American athletes to choose the sport of their choice, New York Daily News sports columnist Carron J. Phillips sees Murray's declaring of the NFL draft as evidence of racism in Major League Baseball.
Baseball is losing the competition for black athletes to basketball and football in a big way. Just 8.4 percent of major league baseball players last year were black. The Oakland Athletics are expecting Murray at spring training camp next month, but this week he declared himself eligible for the NFL draft. For Phillips, the would-be social engineer, this is not about individual career choices; it's all about race.
Issue - Race - Phillips - Murray - Face
The issue of race can't be ignored here, Phillips writes, because Murray was supposed to become the "new black face of baseball."
"For all that MLB has 'tried to do' in the name of diversity," Phillips writes, "the league still hasn’t fully realized that it’s viewed by many in the African-American community as a white sport that has a racist past that consistently overlooks and erases the legacies of legendary black players, and still has issues with its current ones."
Football - Basketball - Sports - African-Americans - Phillips
Polling demonstrates that football and basketball are the most popular sports among African-Americans, but Phillips digresses to recent racial insults as evidence that baseball is striking out on diversity.
Phillips projects baseball's diversity problem, exacerbated by Murray's interest in the NFL draft, onto two incidents from the past two years. In an American League game in Boston two years ago, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was called the N-word and had peanuts thrown at him.
Gallup - Poll - Percent - Americans - Rate
A Gallup poll in 2017 found that 37 percent of Americans rate football...
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"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." - Alexander Hamilton