Friday, June 29, 2007

Is Lo Duca A Racist?

Here's the short answer: No.

Now here's the backdrop. A bunch of reporters with nothing to write since there was a rainout, approach Lo Duca trying to find a story. Paul warns them that he was "in a bad mood all day" but would talk to them anyway.

He then goes on to state how other people need to start talking. Here's an excerpt from today's NY Daily News story:

"I'll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players," Lo Duca announced loudly after he was approached by a radio reporter after the Mets-Cardinals series finale was washed out by rain. "It's the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me."

So of course what gets him in trouble is the "they speak English" part.

(*long sigh.....)

Here's my take. At no point in time do I believe Lo Duca said anything in a malicious manner towards the Hispanic players. Context and delivery are very important when it comes to things like this. THE WAY YOU SAY something is very important. I have a hard time believing Lo Duca would do that. He was simply pointing out that the reporters need to start approaching other guys for quotes and that those guys speak English.

The Latin players all seem to agree that it wasn't racist.

Secondly, he has a point. Reporters are lazy (I know, believe me) and instead of asking questions in a way that elicits a good response, they instead go to guys that they know will give interesting answers no matter what. Why sit down with Reyes, Beltran and Valentin (who all speak English by the way) - and have to deal with their accents and broken speech, when Wagner, Wright and Lo Duca are right there? It's the same sort of lazy journalism that pollutes newspapers, radio, and TV newscasts today.

Also, I know some of the Latin players aren't comfortable speaking English and therefore would rather not speak to reporters, but the only way you are going to get comfortable doing it is to do it. If you speak English, there's no excuse not to talk.

So reporters are lazy, the Latin players are uncomfortable and unwilling, and Lo Duca is not a racist. Those using this as an example are just trying to gain attention, trying to sell newspapers or just trying to up their ratings. It's ridiculous. Holla back.


MetsGrrl said...

If I was going to be a sportswriter covering primarily baseball, or if i was one already, i would LEARN SPANISH. Take a class! Okay, maybe not in the middle of the season, but the off-season? How can this not be a non-negotiable skill for a baseball writer? Hell, I want to learn spanish so *i* can talk to the players, or so I can eavesdrop on Gomez and Reyes chatting between fields during Spring Training.

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