Baseball Great Hank Aaron Flooded With Racist Hate Mail After Defending Obama

TOM KLUDT – APRIL 15, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

Source: TalkingPointsMemo

AP Photo / David Goldman

AP Photo / David Goldman

The Atlanta Braves have been deluged with hate mail after baseball great Hank Aaron’s recent comments about racism in America and President Obama’s critics.

According to USA Today, the Braves organization has received hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls since Aaron made his comments a week ago.

“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” read an email from a man named Edward, according to USA Today.

Edward evidently used the racist epithet five times.

“My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur),” he wrote in closing.

One man called Aaron a “racist scumbag,” while another vowed to never attend another Braves game until Aaron is fired from the team’s front office. A man named David said he plans to burn Aaron’s autobiography.

The outrage stems from an interview Aaron gave to USA Today last week, 40 years after he broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.

Aaron said he still has the racist, threatening letters he received as he closed in on Ruth’s milestone to serve as a “reminder” that things aren’t too different from when he pursued the record.

“If you think that, you are fooling yourself,” Aaron said last week. “A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

When he shifted his attention to Obama, Aaron seemed to compare Republicans to the KKK.

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated,” Aaron said.

He added, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”


Racist hate mail targets baseball great Hank Aaron

04/16/14 11:08 AM—UPDATED 04/16/14 06:37 PM
By Amanda Sakuma

Source: MSNBC

 

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 2:  Hall of famer Hank Aaron waves to the crowd before the start of the Washington Nationals game at Miller Park on August 2, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Aaron was on hand to commemorate Robin Yount on his 20th anniversary of retirement.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 2: Hall of famer Hank Aaron waves to the crowd before the start of the Washington Nationals game at Miller Park on August 2, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Aaron was on hand to commemorate Robin Yount on his 20th anniversary of retirement. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)

A slew of letters filled with racial epithets flooded the Atlanta Braves offices this week after baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron spoke out about racism and defended President Obama against his critics.

The Braves recieved hundreds of letters, e-mails and phone calls, USA TODAYreports, after Aaron spoke openly about the racially-charged vitriol he faced when he shattered Babe Ruth’s home run record 40 years ago, and how racism lingers today.

One email describes Aaron as “a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur).” The rant includes the epithet five times in four sentences, USA TODAY reports.

The letter ends: “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).”

The hate mail comes as baseball fans this week celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, marking 67 years since Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

But racially-charged letters are nothing new for Aaron. He opened up in his 1991 autobiography, I Had a Hammerdescribing the years he received hundreds of letters of hate mail. The season he cracked 715 homeruns brought out the worst backlash, he said.

“Two years, ’73 and ’74, were perhaps the roughest years I had in professional sports because of the hate mail,” Aaron told NBC’s Bob Costas in an interview that year. “I received something like 930,000-some pieces of mail that year.”

Aaron said he keeps the hate letters sent to him during the height of his career to serve as a reminder that racial issues today aren’t far off from what he faced when he made baseball history.

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record,” he told USA TODAY last week. “If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

The 80-year-old baseball slugger paralleled the barriers he overcame to those President Obama continues to face as the nation’s first black president. What separates the two, Aaron said, was that in his day, he lived under the shadow of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s a different story today.

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated,” Aaron said.

“The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts,” he added.


TakeAways

Hank got it right except for one thing. Liberals are as likely to try and make race the issue when criticizing your ideas as are Conservatives. For some reason Liberals consider themselves inoculated from the supposed “naked racism” for which Conservatives take all the heat. But all you have to do is visit a site where Liberals are in the clear majority and you will find language and descriptions of people of color that are just as hateful and sometimes willfully ignorant.