A hurtful, unfortunate episode

It’s important for me to set the record straight on quotes that were attributed to me in a national publication today. I took part recently in a roundtable discussion about the declining number of black players in professional baseball, a subject that’s been close to me my whole career.

I am hurt by how the comments attributed to me went off the track and misrepresented how I feel. My whole identity has been about bringing people together, from my neighborhood to the clubhouse. The point I was trying to make was that there is a difference between black players coming from American neighborhoods and players from Latin America. In the clubhouse, there is no difference at all. We’re all the same.

We all come from different places and backgrounds. Coming from Pine Bluff, Ark., my hometown, is no different than being a kid from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. We all share the common bond of a love of baseball, and it pulls us together on the field and in the clubhouse.

What troubles me most was the word “impostors” appearing in reference to Latin American players not being black players. It was the wrong word choice, and it definitely doesn’t accurately reflect how I feel and who I am.

What I meant was they’re not black players; they’re Latin American players. There is a difference culturally. But on the field, we’re all brothers, no matter where we come from, and that’s something I’ve always taken pride in: treating everybody the same, whether he’s a superstar or a young kid breaking into the game. Where he was born and raised makes no difference.

I’ve spent my whole career devoting time and resources to making the game more available to young kids in various communities. I love the game. It’s changed my whole life, given me a great life. And it’s important to me to spread the message to kids that the game can teach them so much and give them so much, even if they’re not one of the lucky ones who make it.

I was a football player as a kid. Football was my life where I grew up. But people like Scipio Spinks, who pitched in the Major Leagues and saw me play, and my grandfather were able to convince me that I could have a long career in baseball and not tear up my body. I am grateful I listened to them and followed this path. Now I’m dedicated to spreading the word to other young kids.

This is dear to my heart, which is why I’m so hurt that people might take it the wrong way. I’ll continue to do the things I’ve always done in trying to inspire as many young kids, in every community I can reach, to get involved in this great game.

I want kids from backgrounds like mine to understand that this road is open to them, and it’s a road that can bring them a lot of satisfaction and happiness.

 

81 Comments

Yo Torii, us smart fans know what you meant. We’ve been defending you all day over at Halos Heaven and other places. We got your back, man!

Thanks for the clarification and honesty within your response Torii. It’s unfortunate that today’s “journalists” are more concerned about sensationalizing their content then they are about telling the real story. You are a class act and the well informed fans know it.

Hey Torii, we’ve got your back. One gaffe can’t erase a lifetime of doing the right thing. We all know how tirelessly you work with the community and knew as soon as we read this that you had somehow been taken out of context. And I personally thank you for addressing the “imposter” line, as that was the part that gave me significant pause. You’re going to take some heat for it, but keep your head up high and have faith that your fans know what a great human being you are.

Too little, too late I’m afraid.

Torii,

You have been blessed by God. Do not worry about things and people whom want to abolish what is in your heart. I enjoy watching you play for my hometown team and I enjoy even more your kindness towards the children of our community. There is always going to be mean people in this world to take things out of context to hurt you. Just remember this happens to many others as well. God Bless you and close the door on the nonsense let’s go get a World Championship I would love to see you raise the World Series Trophy with your great smile.

K. O’Keefe

It’s unfortunate how far some journalists will go to sensationalize their news. I feel like you were taken out of context which is very unfair! A lot of fans who know you by now understand how respectful you are towards fans, teams and media included! It’s too bad that this little thing is getting bigger than it should be. However you had some truth in what you were saying it was just taken out of context.

We got your back ;)

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Hi Torii,
I just want to say AMEM to what K. O’Keefe said. God knows what is in your heart and what is true. People who judge should remove the log from their own eye before they judge someone eles.
Blessing,
Pam

Torii, you are most definately a class act. The problem may be just THAT. This is Los Angeles and the capital of smear, innuendo and twisted words beyond recognition. It may be time for you to be less available to the press but continue the good deeds with the public and in the neighborhoods. You won’t remember, but my 9 yr old son attacked you after a Quakes game in Rancho Cucamonga where I play softball. You stopped & talked to him and signed a couple balls for he & his cousins. You were elevated to the top step of the respect ladder with our family on that day and because of that we will always give you the benifit of doubt. Stay focused, turn the page and don’t forget to turn on that breaking pitch in order to bring that championship trophy home where it belongs…

Torii,
Echoing what everyone else is saying, you are a class act, and while I knew exactly what you meant with your words in the interview (I didn’t know what all the hubbub was about, you were just speaking loosely, the way you always do, it’s what makes you accessible and personable to the fans), I think it means a lot for you to jump on here and clarify your word choice. Takes a real man to humble himself in a public forum, whether it was necessary or not.
Best,
Richard

Tori: Long time fan of your game and what you have done for the game of baseball. I think you should check the facts and the history of Black people and their journey to America before you refer to us as impostors. Same ships that transported slaves to America made stops all over the Caribbean and South America. For us folks from the islands Black is Black in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama and so on. We do not look a Black’s in America in a different way. Are there cultural differences? Yes but there is no difference on the color of the skin. Keep up the good work with the Angels.

Torii – first of all, please don’t take offense at my name. I am mad4torii as well =D
I did not read the article because I don’t fill my head with all the malicious, hurtful nonsense promoted by much of the media. I take pride in knowing baseball and getting a sense of the players. I know you are a class act and have no doubt that your intentions were not as portrayed, even if you mis-spoke. We all do that at times; we just don’t have it published in a national publication.
Your reputation will speak for itself. GO ANGELS!

lets hope this is no BS from Hunter, as a cuban(even if i am not Black or mulatto) this is a total insult to all Latin players, this goes into the hearts of Tony Oliva, Orestes Minoso, Luis Tiant, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Tany Perez, Juan Marichal, Jose de la Caridad Mendez, Torriente and about 65 Cuban black players who played in the best baseball league ever
The Negro League.
Hunter better do something about this, apologize on TV to all Black or dark skinned lating players, or I will personaly make his life miserable and take this farther and to the top of the racist list.enough of this crap against us Latins
I am not going to lose respect on my black brothers on one man opinion or act, but what he said was awfull, he better take all back and in a very dignified way!!!!!

almost all of the players mentioned on my list are Hall of famers, with a few coming in soon voted by the Vets commitee (oliva/Tiant/Minoso) which will make 8 ******* Cubans in the hall, Despite 50 years of non-drafted players and from a tiny frreking little 12 million island (that;s who we are torii!!!)because of that SOB Castro, Latinos unidos por el mundo!!!
we will see the reaction of these names listed here, a couple are dead, no problem, we will be there for them.

“What I meant was they’re not black players; they’re Latin American players.”

torii torii torii.

vladdy IS black. is he “african-american” like you said? nope. but is he black? most definitely.

you are a black ‘african-american’.

vladdy is a black ‘latin-american’.

“I will personaly make his life miserable and take this farther” You need to calm your crazy *** down spikecool!

Tori, you are a classy person. Don’t let a couple bad reporters get you down. You are a wonderful person both on and off the field. You’re a good and caring person that has a loving heart towards his fellow human beings.

Torii, I really enjoy watching you play and am very pleased that you are an Angel. You like me and many others do work in the community that we live in. That is very noble cause. Unlike many of the people that live in Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo etc my community is very diverse. I was disappointed in your comments. However, I will continue to cheer for you and the Angels.

Mr. Hunter:

i do not blame you for your ignorance. I actually think it’s good for people to hear what some blacks in America actually believe about their own “culture”. Your comment regarding black being a culture is pervasive among many blacks in America. Black is a race. Sounds ridiculously simple, but you are not alone in not understanding that principle. I have heard many white Americans actually say ” He is not white, he’s Hispanic.” And I’m sure there are many people who read this and still can’t figure out the difference. For the record, the Hispanic culture is represented by every race on the planet. Hispanics are not a race. Much to my chagrin, there are many Hispanics who don’t understand that notion either. I would never say “He isn’t black, he’s American” although I’m sure many Nigerians might agree with that phrase.
If you really care, take some time to study the origin of the Hispanic culture. I would be happy to discuss it with you. If you don’t have time for that, than take a trip to Barcelona, Spain and let me know what race the majority of the Hispanic citizens of that city belong to. It’s time blacks in America employ the same standard that they so proudly and deservedly fought to establish for themselves.

Torii, the fans have such respect for you. We would never believe in a million years that you meant anything disrespectful by your comment (which I’m sure was taken out of context anyway).

As is clear from the many comments on this blog, nobody really agrees on what is a “race” and what is a “culture” anyway.

Hang in there, my friend. We appreciate all you do for the community and your fellow players.

Torii you are my favorite angel. I have one question though, how have the offseason trades affected you and the team

Culture is the shared assumptions, values, and beliefs of a group of people which result in characterisct behavior. It is a total way of life of a given group of people. Culture is not just color it is diabilities, age, social status, gender, locality, religion, or sexual orientatioin. Everything we do is not cultlual or of culture. It is a peronal behavior. The only race that exist is the human race. Please stop slamming, bad mouthing, and judging Torii he is a good human being!!!!
Pam

you know what the problem is with people, they always look at race. It’s unfair to many people. Thank you for clarifying

A black Dominican is a black man , black Puerto Rican is a black man. black Cuban is a black man.. they are called AFRO-CARRIBEAN and the USA blacks are called AFRICAN AMERICAN…they all came from AFRICA. Yes they were raised culturally different thats it. Tori you are one of my favorites but is was a stupid comment….you need to crack open a history book Brutha.

Torii, please do not allow yourself to be used by your supporters. Half (1/2) of them would not give a Black the time of day. Torii, please do not pit Blacks against Latinos.

Am I disappointed in your bag of Fritos comments. Very.

SuperMex from Texas.

Dikpose: you hit the proverbial nail RIGHT ON the head…

bottom line, ALL black Latinos…are of African blood first and foremost…and as you said…where the slave ships ultimately stopped, that dictated for centuries to come, the language and customs those in the Latin American/Central American or North American countries would live under….

Vlad, Manny, Jose Reyes, Manny, Jose Contreras, Hanley Ramirez, rAroldis Chapman, Carlos Lee, Danny Richar, Yuniesky Betancourt, etc…
ALL of these men are BLACK first….nationality is second…read your history books….

He’s right in one sense…that many get confused/twisted or are just uneducated in what is obvious….”..he’s not black, he’s Dominican..”

OF COURSE these men are black….the country is only your identifier on where you were born…those of us who know what time it is, are talking about the family lineage…

I am African-American (with Cuban ancestry on my dad’s side)..I’ve always loved Mr. Hunter…he apologized and this will blow over….

Vince-Tribeca, Manhattan
WVCC24hrs@aol.com

By dikpose@hotmail.com on March 10, 2010 4:10 PM
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Tori: Long time fan of your game and what you have done for the game of baseball. I think you should check the facts and the history of Black people and their journey to America before you refer to us as impostors. Same ships that transported slaves to America made stops all over the Caribbean and South America. For us folks from the islands Black is Black in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama and so on. We do not look a Black’s in America in a different way. Are there cultural differences? Yes but there is no difference on the color of the skin. Keep up the good work with the Angels.

@ bostonhater13:

your assessments are right on target bruh…

Vince-Tribeca, Manhattan
WVCC24hrs@aol.com

Mr. Hunter, I respect your mind and I respect your game, but surely you must know how off base you are.

Some slave ships stole people from Africa and brought them to English colonies in North America, some brought them to Spanish colonies in Hispanola, some to Portuguese and French colonies in other places. To the extent that “black” is an acceptable designation to give a man, it is as appropriate a designation for Vladimir Guererro as it is for you.

I realize your experience defines what you think of as your people as defined in part by your experience as Americans, but you can’t really be invested in the silly notion that “black” means “African-American.” I imagine Nelson Mandela would be pretty surprised to hear that he isn’t black.

Would anybody seriously suggest that Jason Bay isn’t white because he’s Canadian?

(scorpion1957- Thanks for the props, but those comments aren’t mine, my post was above that one.)

After reading everyone’s posts, I was about to join in and rant on here, but I think it is inappropriate to do so here, so I will post to my personal blog, if you want to read it, check richardpose.com, if not, it’s ok.

Again, It takes a big man to humble himself in public… but it takes a small man to continue to try to make him feel bad. A couple of you used the Bible quote, from Matthew 7:3-5, about the log in the eye… so true.

Tori,
You gotta admit, your true feelings got the better of you. I think you suscribe to the Joe Morgan school of though that mentions how disappointing it is to see so many ‘brothers’ not being courted by MLB. And I would agree with that sentiment because the representative numers are too great.
Having said that. you are too smart and class act to make a complete lame *** distinction from my black Latino players to the African American ones. Cultural differences between the two? Absolutely. Imposters? Shut the you-know-what up, right now, my brother.

You wanna throw financial numbers in there and reference Scott Boras? You go right ahead and I have your back. But dont forget to mention the real source of the problem: Greedy and cheapskate anglo owners and agents who recognize desperation on the part of Island players. Dont be hating on the black hermanos. Be a real man and go to the source: the owners and agents.

I miss seeing more US born Afro brothers between the baselines. But like JAckie Robinson once said, black is black. Period.

I hate your team but love you as a player. See you during the season. I will be the Mexican yelling at you to go to the source and not blame my hermanos negros.

Tori,
You gotta admit, your true feelings got the better of you. I think you suscribe to the Joe Morgan school of though that mentions how disappointing it is to see so many ‘brothers’ not being courted by MLB. And I would agree with that sentiment because the representative numers are too great.
Having said that. you are too smart and class act to make a complete lame *** distinction from my black Latino players to the African American ones. Cultural differences between the two? Absolutely. Imposters? Shut the you-know-what up, right now, my brother.

You wanna throw financial numbers in there and reference Scott Boras? You go right ahead and I have your back. But dont forget to mention the real source of the problem: Greedy and cheapskate anglo owners and agents who recognize desperation on the part of Island players. Dont be hating on the black hermanos. Be a real man and go to the source: the owners and agents.

I miss seeing more US born Afro brothers between the baselines. But like JAckie Robinson once said, black is black. Period.

I hate your team but love you as a player. See you during the season. I will be the Mexican yelling at you to go to the source and not blame my hermanos negros.

Tori, I believe that anyone who has followed your career and has seen the type of person that you have always been knows deep down what it is you ment to say. The term Black to you is as much a cultural term as it is one of race. I don’t think anybody without an agenda would seriously believe that you have negative opinions about any race or creed. This must be a very upsetting time for you but please remember that we, your fans, will be behind you all the way. Just as we are for any player of the only color that matters to Angel fans. Red

Hey Torii, I know how it is when you say something and it doesnt really explain the point your trying to get across. Then others look at it as hateful in nature. Everyone knows of the contributions you’ve made to communities during your career so we know you are a good hearted person. Dont let people get to you and just keep being the great guy you are.

Yet another example of our broken gotcha media. Rather than clarifying the comment or even looking back into the character of the person the words came out of… they just assume the worst, play it up to be the worst case and repeat it over and over again to create a story where one doesnt exist

Mr Hunter… dont change one bit… a fun person, who is outspoken on important issues, while bringing humor, sarcasm and lightness. Sure that combination is what this latest incident is rooted in (humorous approach or phraseology on a serious issue) but its also one of the qualities that brightens a room when you enter, makes your teammates want to be around you and your fans want to bring some of your light into their own lives and personality.

Dont let the stupid steal the Torii we have grown to like, love and respect.

Torii, sometimes a small apology is much more powerful than a big, elaborated one. It is obvious that you are not sorry at all.

You are basically saying that a black man is not black if he is not from America? By the way, is the Dominican Republic is Europe? Last time I checked, it is in America, too. Back to your point: your theory is that you are black (because you are “american”), and the dominicans are latins?? You must think, then, that some people from Kenya are not black, but africans, right?

Torii, do yourself a favor and realize that you are good at playing baseball, but you stink at ethnics. Do yourself another favor and DO NOT try to back AGAIN your words. Say you are sorry and finish the matter.

As professional player he should be careful to the moment to make declarations, because these it should reflect the deep sense of what wants to express and not to leave between lines things that wrong they could be interpreted.

I to you respect it as player, but I understand that you as Afro-Americans have fought per centuries so that the racial discrimination doesn’t exist, for that reason it is necessary to be careful not to fall in the same thing, to throw to the floor the legacy of blood and pain that the millions of Afro-Americans left as inheritance in the history of that great country, let us don’t repeat the same words of hate and discrimination.

“My whole identity has been about bringing people together, from my neighborhood to the clubhouse.”

Yeah, right, Torii! is that why you said white players shouldn’t be allowed to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson day?!! To “bring everyone together” THAT is why his number is retired, to celebrate everyone being EQUAL, and you are such an idiot and obsessed with race taht you don’t realize that and you want to go back to the segregated years where only certain races can do certain things or celebrate certain players. You really need to just stop talking to the media because you have already destroyed your legacy. You’re an idiot.

“My whole identity has been about bringing people together, from my neighborhood to the clubhouse.”

Yeah, right, Torii! is that why you said white players shouldn’t be allowed to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson day?!! To “bring everyone together” THAT is why his number is retired, to celebrate everyone being EQUAL, and you are such an idiot and obsessed with race taht you don’t realize that and you want to go back to the segregated years where only certain races can do certain things or celebrate certain players. You really need to just stop talking to the media because you have already destroyed your legacy. You’re an idiot.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2010/03/torii-hunter-john-rocker-and-passing-of.html

Baseball is losing interest fast. Torii Hunter was right. Get over it.

Additionally, what gives you the right to say who is an impostor and who belongs in what league? Do you consider it a travesty that there are almost no white american born players in the NBA? You probably don’t care. I don’t watch much NBA, but I can think of 3 players off the top of my head with white skin- Pau Gasol (Spanish), Steve Nash (Canadian), and Dirk Nowitzki (German). Are they all “impostors” too? Where is your rally cry for them, Torii? For a slew of reasons, many hispanics and many whites grow up playing baseball, and many blacks grow up playing basketball. Maybe if they had a HERO to look up to instead of someone shooting off their mouth all the time, they would idolize you and maybe start playing ball to be like you. Putting your foot in your mouth every other month does nothing to help your “cause”… which by the way is “oh, look at me”. Plus, do you think Vladimir Guerrero, the “impostor” would have been able to play in the 1930s and 1940s? Think before you speak for once in your life.

You may not be racist – in fact I believe you are not – but what you said was pretty stupid and shows your lack of knowledge about what race really means. Latins can be black too you know. And quit whining about the media. You said it, didn’t you? So deal with it. Personally, I could care less if you appologize. But don’t complain if the media reported on what you said and some people get angry.

Why is Torii Hunter taking inventory of how many blacks are on each team? How many Japanese managers are there in MLB? Or owners? Why is it that blacks can pull the ?race card? all the time, and it?s no big deal? What if Steve Nash said ?Hey, wait a minute ? why aren?t there more whites on NBA teams? I mean, it seems to me that it?s a little unfair that the NBA is made up of 80% blacks.? Man, you would see Jesse Jackson ? Al Sharpton and all these aggressive “black power” idiots calling to have Steve Nash get on his knees and ?apologize? to all the “brothers” across country, for being disrespectful. The NBA might even suspend him ? because of the entire ?black backlash.? Torii Hunter is an ignorant ?peanut head? and should ask ?why is the prison population made up of 62% blacks?? What seems to be the problem there, Tory?

Why is Torii Hunter taking inventory of how many blacks are on each team? How many Japanese managers are there in MLB? Or owners? Why is it that blacks can pull the ?race card? all the time, and it?s no big deal? What if Steve Nash said ?Hey, wait a minute ? why aren?t there more whites on NBA teams? I mean, it seems to me that it?s a little unfair that the NBA is made up of 80% blacks.? Man, you would see Jesse Jackson ? Al Sharpton and all these aggressive black power people coming out of the wood works to have Steve Nash get on his knees and ?apologize? to all the black people across the country. The NBA might even suspend him ? because of the entire ?black backlash.? Torii Hunter is an ignorant ?peanut head? and should ask ?why is the prison population made up of 62% blacks?? What seems to be the problem there, Tory?

You are 100% correct Torii. MLB has not done enough in the way of recruiting young baseball players from across America.

Torii,

As a Latino baseball fan, your comments were heartbreaking. You’re clearly still referring to black latinos as “impostors” you see nothing wrong in calling them that. For your information, black latinos were mostly enslaved through History. In recent years they’re still discriminated and scorned by many members of their countries populations. Their only way out of poverty is sport; soccer in some countries, baseball in some others. But even when they achieve success in their sports careers, they’re still not seen as equals and many of them are denied entrance to high class restaurants, for example. Comments like yours only contribute to making things worse for your “second class”(here and there) brothers. Why don’t you travel to the Dominican Republic or some other country where you can see the conditions in which many of these players are brought up? My feeling is you can have a change of heart that way.

Cheers,

torii,
this shouldnt bring u down!! fans that know u well, we know that u didnt mean it like that!! we kno how good of a person u are, helpin kids and communities, yet, next time make it real clear of what u are sayin and use ur words wisely so we dont get a cunfusions like this one. cuz the best players of baseball of all time are mostly latin americans, and by ur words, those players still alive, might of gotten hurt more than u for ur words, im dominican, and i big fan of urs, keep doin ur good work and be carefull wit ur words next time!!

I love reading the comments about how we need to “lay off” Torii because he is a nice guy and he made some uneducated comments regarding black Central & South American players. It does not change the fact that the premise of his statement was indeed racist. He called black Central & South Americans “imposters” as compared to black Americans (from the U.S.). I have to distinguish from race and nationality, becuase apparently Mr. Hunter doesn’t. His comments are outrageous and the first thing he should be doing is apologizing instead of taking this obstinate stance that “my comments were taken out of context.”

For as much as we say let us talk about race in this country, the double standard exists. Had there been a white player who made the exact quote Mr. Hunter made, he’d be villified. Why change the standard only because the commenter is black? Simply put Torii (BTW who spells their name like that? Probably Andruw Jones) Hunter is an idiot and should learn to shut his pie hole before he lets the world see what kind of an ill-informed, uneducated Arkansas hick he is.

Why do so many people still hate Fuzzy Zoeller so many years after his “fried chicken and watermelon” comments? Cuz he is white. Let’s get off the double standard and call Mr. Hunter’s comments what they were and are: RACIST.

Torii Hunter = RACIST

Torii, I can double damn guarantee you that San Pedro de Macoris smells better than Pine Bluff, AR. I’ve been there. I’ve smelled it. Jesus tap dancing Christ.

NO LONGER A TORII HUNTER FAN. GO ANGELS! GET RID OF THIS CLOWN!

Can you imagine how the media would have treated this story if they were made by a white baseball player. As of today, not ONE national, non sports oriented television news outlet has reported these comments…..NOT ONE.

If a white baseball player would have made these comments, the national news media would probably be reporting the nightly news in front of his house and all the news anchors would be hyperventilating while telling us how much of a racist the white baseball player was….Why the double standard, I don’t think the media would be boycotting this story. I guess, it just does not fit the template of what color a racist should be according to our glorious liberal news media

Another problem with with the gotcha media is that it brings all the clueless and hateful out of the woodworks. Without the ability to think for themselves they wait for the pundits to tell them its bad, then repeat it and reframe it every which way they can. From here the most ignorant among us get all riled up and turn a non story into a story. Next comes the name calling, the threats ,demands they be fired and chastised by the world. Then those who have the ability to think for themselves or see the whole picture take up the otherside and the situation now is now an argument with two sides.

Bottomline for the ignorant, non thinkers, lazy and hateful. The rest of the picture is the character of the person. When someone engages themselves through their actions to make a difference in race relations, chances are they are one of the good ones. When that person has a lifetime of good deeds and it can all be dismissed because of a one liner that people dont even really understand, then we live in an awfully sad world.

The media has a responsibility to investigate rather than just parrot and attach their opinion. They have a responsibility to give the rest of the story before destroying someones life. Go talk to the latin players on his teams past and present, talk to the latin players around the league and find out their relationship is with Torri. Look into the actions of that person… then go back to that person and ask what was meant by the words that seem so out of character with everything else in the picture. But that ethic hasnt existed in the media in a generation. Now its all about spin, shock and destruction. Making people feel good isnt the goal, giving them a reason to hate is the goal… see Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill OReily, etc.

Well its not just the Political pundits that play the gotcha, spin and hate reporting game. That same energy has taken over all media. Go for the big story… and dont let the facts, truth or good will get in the way.

Hang in there Mr Hunter, There are plenty of people that can see beyond the misplaced hate. Plenty of us that see the big picture. Plenty of people who judge you on your character and not on one word taken out of context or maybe spoken out of context. All stories get replaced in time… a week or two from now most people will have moved on to the next gotcha, the next non story and you can go back to being a great guy.

See what happens when you join a big media market team? You become a straw man…they seek to knock you down.

Come back to Minnesota when your Angels contract is up, or before if the money issue is worked out. We know and respect you and what you do in the community. Play out your career in Minnesota and become a hall-of-famer without being crucified in the media.

Torii,

You look worse back pedaling then properly apologizing. You just don’t understand your level of racism. Latins can be black too. Rather than recognize this and embrace your Black Latin American brothers and treat them equally (like a Black American) you isolated them by language and culture. And the worse sin you committed was insinuating that they are Uncle Tom’s. You made a huge mistake using the word impostor and you have only made it worse with the Uncle Tom inferrence. What you said was very very hurtful to black Latin People. Make a cultural adjustment because you just slammed your brothers hard. Accept that and move on.

Torii….being in the lime light of the baseball athletic world…you must be very careful of the words that you choose to speak to the public. I certainly understand your quest for your own race in baseball. Yes, the baseball league is employing many latin players, maybe you must continue your direction in opening up the avenue of baseball to young boys of your race and choose your words carefully and just continue with your quest. So you are not offending any other race. Because in the long run it is best to accept your team members and play as a team. The team will get you success. Opps!! you are not perfect.

I been reading all these blog and first I’d like to comment on how lossly people are using the words racist and racism. To be a racist is an ACTION not the use of a word. Racism is like a linching or segragation which results in discrimination and prejudices. If memory service me correctly I don’t recall hearing about Torii every taking and action of racism. Second, there has been alot of name calling and labling and one person even used Jesus’s name. As a Christian women I find this very offensive, but I will not condem them for it.
Finally, people should stop telling Torii to open a textbook and study up on certian things when you to should be studing up on what words mean.
Pam

Carmine,

After reading your post, you might want to open up a text book on spelling and grammar. First off, the word is “loosely” not “lossly.” Lynching is spelled with a “y” not an “i.” A lot is spelled with the “a” separate from the word “lot.” It is not one word as you incorrectly spelled it.

Besides the obvious spelling issues, I must address your line of reasoning regarding what it means to be racist. Racism is not entirely about action. It implies thought and and a given philosophy. Mr. Hunter would not have spewed his ill-conceived line of reasoning if he did not feel and think the way he did. THE THOUGHT ALWAYS PRECEEDS THE ACTION. So before action is taken, it is thought out; be it carefully planned, or in Mr. Hunter’s case, haphazardly.

Carmine, you are just as thoughtless and inarticulate as a majority of the posters on the comment section of this blog. Hopefully, you and Mr. Hunter can both open up the same history and grammar textbooks and learn something. To quote was was written earlier, just because Mr. Hunter is a black man doesn’t mean he cannot be racist.

And by the way, I am a black man who is put himself through college and earned a master’s degree. Don’t down on using education to open the mind and increase understanding. If the aforementioned Mr. Hunter had done that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Pam,

My apologies for misstating your name. And no I’m not throwing my degree in anyone’s face, but you seem to think that the idea of Mr. Hunter educating himself on the notion of race and race relations is a novel, yet unnecessary concept. The nature of my post was to emphasize that education is the beginning of understanding. It leads to mutual foundations being established and provides the basis for disagreement and discussion; as opposed to the molotov cocktail method that Mr. Hunter employed to call black Central and South American players “imposters” as a means to open up dialogue on race in baseball.
I hope with that explanation you can better understand my post. I wish you luck in the pursuit of your degree. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pay forward your knowledge and help open the windows of understanding to someone who desperately wants and needs it.

Mullignanwb@yahoo.com
I appericate you correcting me on my spelling. And I appericate the fact that we have the right to agree to disagree. Thank you. Oh and by the way my name isn’t Carmine It’s Pam

muliganwb@yahoo.com
I also forgot to add that I am pursing a degree in human services so don’t throw your degree in my face!!!!
Pam

Torii,
If the saying ?actions speak louder than words? has any merit at all, you are truly the epitome of a world citizen and ambassador of baseball. You are probably one of the most charitable and genuine players in the game, and it hurts me that people would write you off so quickly for something like this.
I read the original article, and understand what you meant in context. Getting inner-city kids away from the streets through baseball is a cause close to your heart, and I do not see how that is racist at all. You acknowledge that you worded it poorly, and that should be the end of the issue. I think the fact that your fellow Latino teammates and friends were so quick to jump to your defense speaks volumes about your character.
As a fan, I realize that what I say probably has little meaning, but I feel like the things being said about you are despicable. I managed to talk to you in Rancho and at Dodger Stadium last season, and I must say that your demeanor completely changed the way I look at professional athletes. You are a good man.
Jack

Hey Torii,
Huge fan, go to games all the time and represent my Torii Hunter stuff every game and I got your back. People make mistakes some time and this is such a hard topic to talk about and I understand. The media blows up every story so this will be gone in a week. Keep up the good work and get this Angels team to a World Series team this year for this organization. Just let this go, keep speaking what’s on your mind and represent the city of Angels.

What does it meant when you said: ‘Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.’…maybe in your mind we are supposed to call our self: “Dominican-African, Cuban-African or Venezuelan-African?. We Latinos have a more diverse mix of colors than just “black”. You like to call your self “African-American”, like a very you belong to an exclusive group..I feel pity for you..
If you were white, you probably would belong to a white supremacist group. Guarantee.

If you are so concern about the percent of “truly blacks” in baseball, why don’t you use your influence and fame, not to mention your wealth, which by the way, it was possible due to the generous contract you received (not a bucket of KFC for sure), and go around trying to convince the “truly blacks” to play baseball and not Basketball or Football…yeah, maybe you can convince LeBron James to do that.

Torii, I thought you were different but in the end you suffer from the same conspiracy syndrome as most black people born in the USA. If you really believe that MLB has planned a conspiracy against black people born in your country you really are a morron. It would be better if you blame the NBA or the NFL. Those leagues are atracting most of the BLACK talent right now. I want to clarify to you that there are black persons that were born in other countries and those guys are from the same race you are. The only difference is that you were born in the USA, but that does not make you different or more special. By your own comments I think that you did not know that. Guys like Vlad Guerrero, David Ortiz or Robinson Cano are black but they were born in Dominican Republic. The word “impostors” is very rude and a very big insult to them and the rest of black persons born in latin america. You should apologize for this openly and publicly and then move on. For me as a latin american person (I am not black by the way)the use of the word “impostors” was included in the less insulting phrase you used. For me the most insulting phrase you used was “….when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?”. Are you implying that latin american prospects are so stupid to do that? of course is cheaper to find great talent in latin america but do you know how much money are earning guys like Johan Santana or Mariano Rivera right know? Baseball is a business and if I were an owner of a team I would also go to latin america to find prospects, not only because they are cheaper but also more talented. To name a few that are more talented than you: Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez and Mariano Rivera. You should also know that there is a lot of poverty in latin american countries but that does not make us impostors or stupid. You should apologize for all this and do not try to explain all the stupid arguments that you said. The explanation that you post in this blog only confirms that you really believe what you said. Please be more careful next time you talk about something you do not know.

Your successor Span did well for himself !!

greg

Yes, you could use part of your salary to convince BLACK AMERICANS to play baseball instead of football or basketball.

Torri,

Torii, I see past your unfortunate choice of expression, and that you are trying to make a positive impact on youth (African Americans in particular), who generally have much less access to playing baseball than other populations in the U.S. After reading about your life it is easy to understand why this is so important to you. I also understand the reference you make to the economic advantages the MLB might choose to seek by signing latino prospects vs American ones, despite the fact that both may have black skin. I must also say that I recognize the American preoccupation with skin color that so often causes folks to generalize people of different cultural backgrounds into one single ethnicity, solely on the basis of having black skin – and that this masks the fact that blacks in the U.S. have certain impediments to getting involved in professional baseball that are often overlooked, compared to Latin Americans of the same skin color who are recruited and supported by the league in a different way. Since I am a product of both worlds I recognize what the realities are because I have seen a lot for myself. So in the end, the fact that you chose your words very poorly here does not distort the heart of the issues you were trying to get at…and as yet another afro latin weighing in on this, I remain one of your biggest fans.

hey torii, im going to arizona this friday to see your game. goodluck man. my family has been going for 6 years! we are the biggest fans=)

It’s a shame that we still feel the need to “segregate” ourselves in almost every aspect of life. While I appreciate the passion every culture feels about “their” race, color or country, we would do better to forget such backgrounds and just strive to motivate any youngster to play any game he or she wishes. Just let things happen. Whomever wants it regardless of their background they will find a way to achieve their goal. Torii, don’t worry about the fuss, this too shall pass. White Black Latin Japanese Korean it doesn’t matter. If you can play, you will succeed. Just give everybody a chance.

“THE MISEDUCATION OF TORI HUNTER” goes beyond OUR(his)STORY. As a double history major [American Hist. / African (his)Story I was appalled at the latest bashing of a people who established the model of African liberation in the so-called New World / America.
Before there any Africans in North America [1619] – roughly 100 hundred years earlier, Nicolas Ovando makes reference to the type of slaves he wants in the island [DR/Haiti]. He wanted Ladinos slaves [born Catholic in Spain] as opposed to Africans from Africa / Bozales [Bozal means muzzle as in the facial one one puts on a dog]. The St. Domingue slave revolt which gave birth to one of the greatest revolution the world has seen & never spoken / taught about; hence the Haitian Revolution – which served as the liberation model for all African Peoples in the American Hemisphere. Many African Americans fled to the Island of “impostors” & not for a mere “bag of chips” as you so irresponsibly alluded to. In baseball you may face some of those “impostors” descendants of South Carolinean Blacks such as Fernando Rodney of the Detroit Tigers. He comes from a region in DR where there’s even an AME Church. From San Pedro de Macoris in DR you get the descendants of the Caribbean English speaking islands, the so-called Cocolos – where you get the George Bell, Rico Carty etc… My own grandfather was born in St. Kitts / Nevis.
In short we’re the best kept secret when it comes to African Culture in America aside from the Garifunas of Central America.

[2nd of two-part comment]
There’s so much you need to learn about African folks in the two-nation island that this medium is not enough. When in NYC I invite you [and would not mind being your guide and teacher] to visit the Dominican and Haitian enclaves in the City as well as Harlem and the Heights. In Harlem we can visit the largest collection of African documented History started by an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo / Arthur Alonso Shomburg who was born nine Months after the Abolition of Slavery in Puerto Rico and was inspired to dedicate his whole life in “digging up the Negro’s Past” [A.A. Shomburg] by a teacher who told him that Blacks did not have a history. The Negro League is a great start for your education. Read about Black Latino players who struggled in the Negro League and even Roberto Clemente’s struggled with segregation in the minor leagues and his team mates [I believe you received the Roberto Clemente Award at one time].

Now, moving forward and to address your & others warped reality about Afrolatino ball players in the States. Like Ozzie Guillen said; all we have is baseball, a one shot deal – while as an American you have all these opportunities to choose from. However, the inner cities of America has descended into a dysfunctionality when it comes to supporting sports, especially baseball. Rich ball [players such as yourself do not invest some of your spending ‘chump change’ in organizing winter baseball clinics and summer little / Babe Ruth / Pony etc.. leagues as the the poor players of the past who had to subsidize their baseball income with offseason employment. I met a young Lee Mazzilli, Sparky Lyle, Elliott Maddox, Fran Healy, Ed Kanepool, Rafael Santana, Felix Millan etc……at winter baseball clinics held in inner cities high schools. In the Summer, I played in the Ed Kranepool and Felix Millan leagues. Nowadays you can find leagues supported by ballplayers and major league teams. The government has virtually wiped out the ‘ballfields of young people’s dreams’
as well as the fundings available to develop African-American talent in the inner cities. Joe Morgan had a documentary a few years ago in which he articulated the disappeareance of African-Americans in baseball. If you look at basketball and football you’ll find at lot of baseball players there alas Michael Jordan. So please you may want to invest on a good education, not only for the historical aspect – but also to develop your ability to articulate your thoughts in a better and intelligent / intellectual approach.

We know that you didn’t mean it the way it sounded…You’re a classy guy!!!

Wow, what a disgusting show of support for a disgusting comment. For those of you who “understood” what he meant, you don’t. You’re just as ignorant as he is. What a way to show how “LOW CLASS” you really are. I will boo you at every at bat and on the field. Thanks for setting back race relations. Idiot.

I’d play for a bag of chips and a plane ticket any day! Every college ball player that I know that didn’t get drafted has said that. I get it Torii…we get it.
Also, I’ve been using the “imposter” comment and getting the biggest laughs out of my buddies. I am a Hispanic (I won’t tell you exact country) and have been saying that other “brown” people are imposters. What a great comment Torii. I get it! We get it! It is too bad that the idiots that didn’t “get it” can’t get over themselves. I bet the majority of those “offended” by the comment are neither Latin American nor black…go figure?!

Journalism is no longer about truth, it is only about drawing readers, and if character assassination is the means to the end, so be it. We see it constantly in political reporting, and it’s unfortunate it has happened to you. The story should have been about what you were doing for America’s inner city children, and instead, the reporter leapt on an unfortunate phrasing on your part. What you meant was not important, the words you chose provided an opportunity for sensationalism, that simply could not be passed by. Your’re right, it is no wonder so many in your field opt simply not to speak to reporters at all. Kudos for your good works.

Journalism doesn’t exist anymore is the true sense of the word. Anyone who can get on the internet and tweet is a journalist in 2010. No longer is the news about the content, rather how fast it is delivered. We are obsessed with knowing everything first. Well said Tori!

Best,
Aprilaire Cook toddcook23@gmail.com

Taxpayers will get about an extra $13 a week in their paychecks starting this spring. So, with spring break and the summer tourism season coming, we did a little snooping around Washington to see just how you can spend that cash.
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Yes, you could use part of your salary to convince BLACK AMERICANS to play baseball instead of football or basketball.

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I understand what you feel.. don’t give up

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