SF Giants’ OF Jaylin Davis talks about racism he has seen in baseball
Jaylin Davis, outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, recently wrote a blog post in which he details the racism he has had to deal with throughout his career in baseball. In light of the protests against police brutality and racism at large, his blog post is a must-read for Giants fans trying to reckon with what is going on in our country.
Davis, 25, is one of the bright young players that the Giants hope can become a part of their future plans. He struggled for most of his major league stint last season, but had an unforgettable moment on Sept. 25th.
Not a bad way to get your first big league homer. While many ballplayers have to overcome countless hurdles in order to make it to the big leagues such as injuries or high expectations, Davis has had to overcome something that many players don’t have to worry about: racism.
In his blog post, he details horrible things that were said to him during a game in college from some fans in the outfield as well as a player on the other team in a high school game who used racial slurs towards him while the first base umpire, who was white, did nothing.
"My sophomore year, at Appalachian State University, I was running down a ball in right centerfield when I heard a couple guys in the crowd yell something about a monkey and bananas. I was kind of shocked, but didn’t say anything. I felt if I reacted, they’d know it got to me and that would make it worse."
Many black players have shared similar stories of verbal abuse or racist acts done towards them throughout their baseball careers. It is a great reminder for those of us fortunate enough to not have to deal with discrimination on a day to day basis that racism is far from a thing of the past.
The protests of the recent weeks have forced all of us: black, white, Latino, Asian, or whatever ethnicity we are, to reckon with the ugly parts of our country that aren’t flattering to look at.
Davis ends his moving post with a poignant statement, “But unless we all find a way to openly talk and genuinely listen to each other about racism, we have no hope of rooting it out.”
We all have to be willing to talk about the ugly side of things if we are serious about trying to fix problems like racism in our country. While sports like baseball can and should serve as a distraction from all that is wrong in the world, they can also serve as a platform to elevate voices who can speak to the wrongs in our society.
Davis did just that with his blog post. He did not to it to draw attention to himself, he simply did it as a man with a platform not afforded to many other black men to allow us a small glimpse of what it is like in another’s shoes. He should be commended for it and we should all use his bravery in telling his own story as the impetus for personal reflection to see how we can better ourselves and in the process better our country.