Mets’ Curtis Granderson: Low Percentage of Blacks in Baseball is “a big problem”
By Victor Ochieng
New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, who’s a three-time MLB All-Star, spoke with HuffPost Live and said that the decline in the number of African-American baseball players is a big problem.
According to information shared by Huffington Post, the number of African-American players in the MLB has reduced to 7.8% in 2015 from 19% in 1986.
“We consider baseball the American pastime,” said Granderson. “And if it’s going to be the American pastime, obviously the African-American population is at 13%. So the numbers aren’t matching up accordingly.”
While Granderson understands that children are involved in several other activities, he believes that baseball should be a major part of those interests.
“The big thing is, there’s other interests that kids are involved in, and we’ve just got to continue to keep baseball as one of those interests that kids want to play,” he said.
The new league commissioner, Rob Manfred, has said that one of his priorities coming into office is to get baseball back to the inner-cities. This is to ensure that American youths are involved in baseball in an effort to bring excitement back into the game and make it truly an American past time.
This isn’t the first time that a discussion on the declining number of African-Americans in baseball is coming to the forefront. In 2013, the former MLB commissioner, Bud Selig, constituted a taskforce to look into the issue.
Such efforts were to supplement a program that was started in 1989 called “Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities,” with the main aim of enabling kids in underserved locations to participate in baseball and softball.
Granderson believes that there is more to playing baseball than just having the fame and money. According to him, there are several things that a kid or anyone else playing the game can learn.
“You go through all the major cities in America here, you have some heavily dominated areas that are in inner cities where you can go ahead and pull a lot of kids just to get a chance to play,” said Granderson. “Not to play in the major leagues, but just to play this fun game. Learn leadership, teamwork, discipline, hard work and showing with all those things if you put your mind to it, it can definitely pay off.”
The 34-year-old baseball player also believes that the media and other related institutions should do more to highlight things about the MLB players. This could be anything from their lifestyles, achievements, and more.
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