Friday, May 23, 2014

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part II. C. "Color Blindness"

C. " Color Blindness"
            Color blindness does not solve this problem, it exacerbates it.  By baseball implementing "color blind" hiring practices, it ignores the underlying institutional racism.  When it comes time to hire a new commissioner, a list of 24 white names does not seem out of place.  These are all "qualified candidates", many of whom have worked alongside Bud Selig for years.  Even the "non-executive types" on Stark's list are white.  He  mentions Joe Torre and Tony La Russa as two possible candidates, calling them "the face of the sport" from the "icon division".[i] 
            Major League Baseball purports to have a "Selig Rule", an affirmative action policy that "requires clubs to consider minority candidates" for management and executive positions.[ii]  This policy, claimed to proceed the National Football League's "Rooney Rule", is credited with increasing women and minority employment in Major League Baseball front offices from three percent to eighteen percent over the past fourteen years.[iii]  The six-fold increase appears less impressive when considering that women and minorities represent roughly 70% of the United States population.[iv]
            Even if the "Selig Rule" is an effective non-color blind approach to front office hiring in baseball, the institutional racism still permeates.  After the hiring of an African American, cries of "reverse racism" ring throughout the sport.[v]  This forces the African American hire to try and outwork everyone else because his job and the hiring policy are on trial.[vi]  Failures of African American hires, although commonplace for white males, are  overly analyzed and then purported to vindicate the common practice of hiring white men. 

[i] Id. 
[ii]Richard Justice, 'Selig Rule' first of its kind in sport, MLB.COM (Aug. 26, 2013, 9:33 PM),
[iii] Id. 
[iv] White American, Wikipeida,, (Last visited March 3, 2014).
[v] Powell at 224
[vi] Id,  See Infra Note II D.

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