Chris Rock has explained why he believes that African Americans have fallen out of love with the game of baseball, and he puts it down to the dwindling number who now play the game professionally.
You check out Chris Rock’s impressive diatribe, which he made for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, below. Warning: It does contain a vast number of expletives though.
As is Chris Rock’s way, he also made sure to litter his diatribe with his comedic sensibility, which meant that it was packed with a number of amusing quips.
“Baseball isn’t 20 percent black anymore. It’s eight percent and falling fast. That’s an average of two guys per team and those two probably listen to Blake Shelton to keep from getting their ass kicked by their teammates.”
In 2014, only 8.3 percent of the professional players in the big leagues were African American. This is in stark contrast to the 19 percent of big leaguers that were African American when the 1975 season started.
Speaking to MLB back in 2013, Mark Amour, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, explained that numbers have dropped drastically in recent years in comparison to those of the early 1990s.
“From the 1970s through the ’90s, the numbers were in the high teens,” he explained. “Now they’re half that.”
Some experts have previously insisted that the amount of African-Americans playing baseball actually reached as high as 27 percent at one point, but Armour insists it never went over 20 percent. He believes this confusion was because individuals had been “counting all dark-skinned players.”
Meanwhile, Chris Rock also believes that numbers are dwindling because the game of baseball’s rules are archaic, and the sport itself is too old-fashioned.
“Baseball doesn’t just have rules from another time. It has an old-fashioned code, too.”
He also criticized players for not truly celebrating when they achieve something on the field of play.
“When you score in football or basketball, the players celebrate. Good time, come on! When you score in baseball, the code says, ‘Better not look too happy about it or else a baseball will go whizzing by your head.'”
Chris Rock is a diehard Mets fan who spoke glowingly about watching his side win the 1986 World Series. He admitted that he is still a fan of the game, but he’s worried that he is one of the only African Americans left who actually enjoys the game.
In fact, he started off his piece with, “I’m an endangered species: a black baseball fan.”
[Image via SI]