I heard today that both Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have come out and defended Barry Bonds and more or less said that Bonds is a victim of "racism" in his pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run record.
Talk about insulting our collective intelligence.
Jackson, a washed-up media whore, and Sharpton, a racist hustler of the highest order, should keep their mouths shut about this issue and concentrate their efforts of fights they have a chance of winning. Calling Bonds some kind of racism victim is an insult to legitimate victims of racism, and is a slap in the face especially to Hank Aaron.
It is well-known that Hammerin' Hank got death threats and incredibly vile racist hate mail in his pursuit of Babe Ruth's record in 1973. (Aaron always kept it as a reminder of what he went through.) He had to hire bodyguards during the 1973 season. When Aaron hit home run 715 in April 1974, he was more relieved than anything that the chase was finally ended.
Hank handled himself with class and grace through the whole deal. Unfortunately, his accomplishments have been terribly overlooked by many. If there is any good thing to come out of the whole Bonds fiasco, it's that Aaron is more appreciated now for how he played the game. And especially, how he played baseball without any "help."
The public has basically rejected and ridiculed Bonds for many reasons, none having to do with racism. For his entire career, Bonds has been perceived as surly, arrogant and obnoxious to the press, fans, coaches and teammates. Granted, baseball has a history of great players who've been like that, going back to guys like John McGraw and Ty Cobb. But the biggest reason of all why Bonds has endured this treatment is because he is seen as a "cheater."
He has yet to refute the charges in the book "Game Of Shadows," and is doing his best to ignore it and hopes it will go away (but it won't, and he knows it). Bonds' defenders say he's never failed a steroid test. That means nothing. Beating those tests was a joke (read the book). So now his only hope is to hide behind some charges that there's some kind of "racist conspiracy" against him, that the American public doesn't want him having the home run record because he's black. (So what race is Hank Aaron then?)
Bonds seems especially fixed on Ruth, and reaching him seems more important than reaching Aaron. He thinks that people are so upset that another black player has reached The Babe. The average fan doesn't care that someone else has reached Ruth, because Ruth no longer holds the home run record. But Major League Baseball doesn't want Aaron's record broken by Bonds, as they know the public will NEVER accept it.
Why? One word (and it's not racism): STEROIDS.
The baseball public has never embraced Bonds, because he's never done ANYTHING to embrace them. I remember when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were chasing Roger Maris' record in 1998, one commentator (can't remember who) said that both were great guys and were easy to cheer for. He ended it by saying, "Can you imagine having to root for Barry Bonds if he were in the middle of it?"
I don't believe that if it were say, McGwire going after Aaron's record, he would get a free pass that Bonds isn't getting. If McGwire had a book written about him and had steroid allegations thrown at him and just denied it and was just as obnoxious as Bonds, the public would revile him also. McGwire's legacy was destroyed last year when he absolutely refused to testify about his own past and steroids before Congress. The public has largely ignored and forgotten him, and his Hall of Fame candidacy is in serious doubt.
I absolutely hate it when the "usual suspects" come crawling out of the woodwork to defend a creep like Bonds simply because he's the same race as they are. ("When all else fails, blame racism.") They serve no purpose than to get their names in the papers and their faces on TV.
And insulting our intelligence.