While King Felix is well on his way to ending Seattle’s skid with the Mariners comfortably ahead at Yankee Stadium, let’s hop in Anthony McCarron’s time machine and travel back to the Bombers’ Sunday loss to Tampa. From Monday’s New York Daily News :
Johnny Damon said he “had a pretty good bead” on Dioner Navarro’s third-inning homer yesterday as he leapt at the left-field wall and tried to bring the ball back, but he missed.
The wall wobbled when he slammed into it and shook afterward. Damon threw his glove down in frustration and later said, “Unfortunately, I’m white and I can’t jump like others.”
It’s the second time this season that a Yankee has made a self-deprecating joke that perhaps plays off the title of the 1992 movie “White Men Can’t Jump” or, some might say, perpetuates a racial stereotype.
When since-traded reliever Scott Proctor was still on the Yanks, he leapt for a bouncer over the mound in San Francisco in a June23 game and afterward said, “I jumped as high as I could. I guess if I wasn’t white, I’d have a chance of getting it.”
I applaud McCarron’s diligence in bringing Damon’s ill-advised remarks to the public’s attention. It’s disgraceful that Damon, even in jest, would perpetuate the stereotype of black, wall-climbing outfielders having an advantage due to their lineage.
Had he blamed his inability to throw a baseball more than 100 feet on being white, however, I’d have no problem with it. Or, conversely, I wouldn’t object to a statement like, “hey, it’s not like I can call Gary Matthews Jr.’s pharmacist.”