By: Bill Fletcher, Jr. (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
You have to forgive me. Maybe I am overthinking this, so please work with me.
Just recently, Milwaukee Brewers baseball player Josh Hader, received a standing ovation from a largely White crowd in Milwaukee.
In and of itself, this would not be newsworthy. What brings attention to this event, is that it occurred after racist and otherwise objectionable tweets were released, that Hader had posted some years ago. Hader apologized, of course, for the tweets, but their viciousness was noteworthy.
So, why did all of these White people applaud him? I get why Hader’s team might stand with him. They may say that what he did was in the past and that it should be forgiven. They may feel that they have to keep the team together.
But what about all of those White folks in the stands? I tend to think that they were also thinking about a team; only a different team.
I am not suggesting that there is no or little room for forgiveness. But what are these White people applauding? Are they applauding as a way of saying that the allegations should be ignored? Are they saying that they forgive him?
Would they be so quick to stand if a Black American or Latino player was before them, who had offered objectionable tweets some years ago? Would they want him to know that he was still part of the team?
Perhaps Hader should be forgiven for his transgressions, but that is not the same thing as a public embrace. We, of color, have heard many an apology from Whites after they have cursed us, humiliated us, assaulted us or murdered us, and yet, little has changed.
I, for one, am sick of apologies. Before I stand, I want to see a very different practice; a different set of actions. It will, at that point, make such an apology credible rather than a throwaway line.