From The Associated Press :
Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who hung up on a talk show host after he was accused of being a racist, told a newspaper his views on diversity in baseball were misrepresented.
“I’m anything but a racist,” Feller said in an interview with the Des Moines Register, which published his remarks in a copyright story Friday.
Feller, the Van Meter farm boy who won 266 games with the Cleveland Indians, got into a heated exchange on Wednesday with co-host Mike Claiborne on KFNS-AM in St. Louis after being asked what was right and wrong with baseball today.
According to the Register, Feller said as part of his response, “A lot of these players coming from the Caribbean, they don’t even know the rules.”
Pressed by Claiborne to clarify those remarks, the two sparred until Feller, who was talking by telephone, hung up. Feller told the Register he resented being called a racist.
“I played with Hispanics and blacks and men of all races ever since I was a little boy out on the farm in Iowa,” he said. “This fella wants to say I’m a racist. He’s a liar.”
The Register said Claiborne asked Feller several times to explain his point about certain players not knowing the rules. Feller eventually told Claiborne, “Let me tell you something, if you don’t be quiet, I’m going to cut this off.”