Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts, manager of the world champion L.A. Dodgers, says he would consider skipping his role as National League All-Star manager because of Georgia’s legislative disenfranchisement of Black voters.

In response to “The Big Lie” pawned off by a lawfully deposed former president, the state of Georgia has passed several laws designed to reduce ballots cast by Black voters.

It is not about voting integrity. It is about Black voter disenfranchisement.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is scheduled for July 13 at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. MLB Players Association President Tony Clark, who is Black, said this week that his organization is “very much aware” of Georgia’s shameful legislation and is willing to discuss moving the game.

“We have not had a conversation with the league on that issue," Clark told the Boston Globe last week.

“If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation."

That conversation will be worthless. MLB will not move the game.

Its leaders do not have to answer to Black players because less than 9 percent of them are African American. There are just two Black managers, Dave Roberts of the world champion L.A. Dodgers and Dusty Baker with the Houston Astros.

Individual franchises annually prove there is no concern for diversity in organizations by the lack of not only Black players, but also Black executives in front offices.

Most MLB owners would rather have that other guy in the Oval Office rather than President Biden.

Unless a bounty of young Black players has break-out first-halves of the season, only a handful of Black players will be on the respective American and National League rosters.

Clark, and Black players, must now convince Latino and white stars to boycott the All-Star Game if it remains in Atlanta.

The pleas must begin today – Opening Day – and must be shared with the world.

Roberts, who would guide the National League All-Star team, said skipping the game is an option.

“I will certainly consider (boycotting the game),” Roberts told reporters during a spring training press conference last week.

I don’t know enough about it right now. But when you're restricting, trying to restrict American votes, American citizens, that's alarming to me to hear it. As we get to that point and we know more, I will make a better decision. But I do think that if it gets to that point, it will certainly be a decision I have to make personally.”

FORBES columnist Terrence Moore, a longtime beat reporter and columnist who covered the Atlanta Braves, tells Roberts, “You can stop debating, and you can begin triggering a revolt among baseball executives, on-field personnel and players against holding this event in (Georgia.)”

“Imagine if you convinced your star player Mookie Betts to skip the game, (the game’s highest-paid player) on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Moore writes.

“Imagine if more prominent Black players joined Betts in this boycott such as Aaron Judge, Tim Anderson and David Price.

“Imagine if they triggered their peers to do the same, regardless of nationality, whether we’re talking about (former MVP) Mike Trout or (Braves star) Ronald Acuna.”

MLB will not move the game unless Roberts, Black players and key white and Latino players make the necessary moves to force a change of venue. Even then, I doubt MLB will act – but the game must then be played absent of a Black manager and many Black, white and Latino stars.

 

The Reid Roundup

The St. Louis Cardinals will open the 2021 season with three Black players on the 25-man roster. Joining starting pitcher Jack Flaherty are closer Jordan Hicks and 25-year-old outfielder Justin Williams. Williams recorded his first MLB hit last September…Former Oakland A’s All-Star pitcher Dave Stewart has pledged $115 million toward purchasing the city’s portion of Oakland Alameda Coliseum, home of the A’s. He is part of a prospective ownership group that wants to bring an NFL franchise back to Oakland.

 

Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine PBS program, “Donnybrook,” a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears on “The Dave Glover Show” on KMOX. 

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