RUSH: At any rate, I first became aware of the next crisis in American culture some months ago. I was watching some show on ESPN. The subject was, ‘Why aren’t there more blacks playing Major League Baseball? In fact, why are there fewer blacks playing Major League Baseball?’ And the answer’s been, ‘Well, basketball is a more popular game with young African-American kids, football and so forth.’ It’s been a topic that’s generated a lot of interest within certain elements of the professional sports community. Well, somebody went and asked Gary Sheffield, who is a very outspoken guy. He’s played with a number of teams: the Dodgers, the Braves, the Yankees; he’s now with the Detroit Tigers. They asked Sheffield about this, ‘Why do you think that so few blacks are playing Major League Baseball?’ It’s in GQ magazine. And he said, ‘Well, I called this years ago. What I called is that you’re going to see more black faces but there ain’t no English coming out. It’s about being able to tell Latin players what to do, being able to control ’em. Where I’m from, you can’t control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end he’s going to go back to being who he is, and that’s a person that you’re going to talk to with respect. You’re going to talk to like a man. These are the things my race demands. So if you’re equally good as this Latin player, guess who’s going to get sent home? The black guy. I know a lot of players that are home now that can outplay a lot of these Latin guys.’
So basically what he’s saying is that the owners in Major League Baseball and the managers, the executives, can control these Latins but can’t control the proud blacks, and that’s why you still see faces of color out there, but they’re Latin. Now, Eddie Perez is a former teammate of Sheffield’s with the Atlanta Braves, now their bullpen coach. He said, ‘That’s going to hurt a lot of people. I don’t know [if he’ll be suspended], but somebody needs to say something.’ Perez dismissed Sheffield’s theory. ‘I don’t think we’re taking anybody’s food off the table. We’re just putting food on the table for us. They’re paying Latin players lots of money. But it’s not because they like us – it’s because we’re doing good. When we play, we play hard. You don’t hear too many Latin players talk a lot of trash.’ So Major League Baseball says that Gary Sheffield’s recent comments haven’t hit the radar screen. Well, they have now, but they hadn’t ’til this show.
But several people associated with the game have taken notice. ‘Major League Baseball vice president for PR, Richard Levin, gave no indication baseball is considering disciplining Sheffield.’ Why? He can say what he wants. Why would this warrant a suspension? It’s just his opinion, for crying out loud. Why would this warrant a suspension? If he thinks that the Latins are easily moldable and controllable and so forth and that blacks — that’s what he believes. Why is everything somebody says these days worthy of a suspension? It’s words. Me of all people — (interruption) exactly right. I’m telling you, I think everybody is getting hypersensitive about this. Isn’t it enough to say Sheffield’s an idiot or you agree with him? What’s the point? But let the owners deal with this, let it be dealt with however, but to suspend the guy for saying — this is nothing. It sounds outrageous to a lot of people. If you know Gary Sheffield, he’s reading the 23rd Psalm on this compared to some other things he’s said.
RUSH: Carl in Kansas City, Missouri, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, good afternoon, sir. I’m sorry, but I’ve gotta call you on something, my friend.
CALLER: You are constantly telling us that words mean things.
CALLER: And you just gave Sheffield a pass by saying they’re just words.
RUSH: I didn’t give him a pass. I said, what’s the point of suspending him? I’m all for criticizing what he said, and I’m all for beating it into the ground if it’s wrong, but this constant, incessant, ‘We’re going to suspend you. We’re going to take you off the air. We’re getting out of control with this.’
CALLER: Well, I don’t think that’s necessarily out of control. We can control our politicians with our votes. But you can’t control someone who is not elected. They’re being paid by private industry, so why can’t a private industry try and control them with a suspension?
RUSH: Well, that’s his point, Sheffield, you’re not going to control him no matter what you do.
CALLER: Well, something needs to be done because that’s a horrible viewpoint.
RUSH: If you want to talk about this, I’ll be glad to talk about it with you. Here’s what’s wrong with this. What’s wrong with it is the whole subject. If blacks are not playing Major League Baseball, it’s because they’re choosing to do something else. To sit there and blame America for this, which is where this is headed, is something that is wrong. There’s plenty of opportunity for blacks to play Major League Baseball if they want to. But the way this is being set up on the ESPN show that I saw, which doesn’t surprise me, of course it’s something wrong with America, and the inference that I drew was that we are returning to our racist past, and it all happened to coincide with this big anniversary of Jackie Robinson. This is not an accident that this happened. So of course GQ magazine goes out and finds a motor mouth to ask about this, knowing they’re going to get a quote machine answer, and they did.
What’s happening here is that the sports media, which is every bit as liberal as any other media, is trying to drum up America is racist, America hasn’t learned, we’re reverting, as though blacks are being shut out of baseball, they have no choice, they can’t play, which is absurd. They’re choosing to do other things. It’s called Michael Jordan and the NBA. It’s called football, and there’s any number of things that they apparently would rather do. These sports seasons come earlier in the school year than baseball does, and they’re sitting around, if they’re not two-sports guys, they choose one of those two to get active early. But to blame this on the owners, to blame this on the game, to say that the owners can more easily control the Latin players, that’s absolutely silly, but it’s not worth a suspension over. It’s worth ridicule, but it’s not worth a suspension over. That’s all I was saying.
CALLER: I’ll work with that.
RUSH: All right, well, fine. Another caller salvaged by the host. Look, folks, the FCC just came out with some ruling, a second US District Court of Appeals came out with a ruling that said incidental — that’s not the word, but incidental obscenity on the air is fine. It’s not something that you can be fined for. It’s reacting to Bono. Bono was receiving some award at some music thing. He got up there, cigarette dangling from his mouth, and the F-bomb started coming out. Of course the FCC is upset because they think that some control has been taken away from them by the court. I can’t believe that we’ve gotten to the point where we want to suspend everybody for something that they say, which, you know, Eddie Perez got a chance to respond to it. ESPN reported what he said. We’re talking about it here. GQ got their quote. Yes, words mean things, and — (interruption) hm-hm. Hm-hm. Well, if a white player had said that, if John Rocker would have said it — I know there’s a double standard, but, look, how many times do I have to explain this? I’m breathing deeply to gather my emotions.
It’s not about fairness, and you know damn well, unless fairness is defined as the following: Fairness is blacks are a minority. They are besieged. They are discriminated against. They are the children of slavery, you know the drill. So they’re held to a different standard. They’re allowed — well, hell, it’s been said that blacks cannot be racist because they don’t have the power to implement the racism that they might be, feel, or utter. There’s a different standard. Look at Congressman William Jefferson versus Scooter Libby. Congressman William Jefferson versus Tom DeLay. We went through this earlier in the program. They’re all concerned there what Jefferson’s indictment might mean for the Democratic Party. They’re not worried it will hurt it. They’re not concerned that he might be embarrassing them or making them all look bad, just a little different standard on this. Of course John Rocker couldn’t say this, nor could any — well, depends on what they said, but Sheffield is also known for these kinds of statements. He’s very, very, very proud man, and he’s said what he said. But I’m not giving him a pass on it. I’m just saying this suspension stuff is getting out of hand.