I’m a huge baseball fan. I love everything about the game, except for other baseball fans. Stereotypically, some sports fans are among the most unpleasant people, falling somewhere between frat boys and people who care about the sound system in their cars. Unfortunately, one of the most humble sports still has obnoxious, ignorant fans and they came out fully armed with racial epithets and historical inaccuracies the night Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish came within one out of a perfect game.
After Darvish lost his bid at perfection, Public Shaming (publicshaming.tumblr.com) did what they do best: compile all the tweets they can to make you lose faith in humanity. I try to stay away from this site because while some of the stuff can be funny, most of it is just baffling racism and stupidity. I know “racism” and “stupidity” seems redundant, but the amount of dumb is so overwhelming it cannot be contained in one word.
The tweets Public Shaming collected regarding Darvish told me something I did not know— people, including young people, are still pissed at the Japanese for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Several of the tweets read something along the lines of, “that’s what you get for Pearl Harbor #neverforget.” My “favorite” came from Marty Ryan: “hey yu darvish, blame your ancestors for not getting the perfect game. Maybe next time they won’t bomb Pearl Harbor #hiroshima #nagasaki” Everything about that statement is so blatantly hypocritical, there’s almost nothing to be said about it. All I can say is, I hope he was being facetious and making fun of the other people invoking Pearl Harbor as the reason Darvish lost his perfect game.
But that would be naively optimistic, considering even Astros broadcaster Alan Ashby couldn’t repress his oldness and whiteness, saying, “That’ll force a guy to learn some of the language here in America.” While I could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was talking about curse words, the comment was still “look at how foreign that guy is,” not “look at what a great ballplayer that guy is.”
It’s going to be a long season, and I’m sure there will be plenty more ignorant dialogue to come, considering Major League Baseball is allowing interpreters to accompany managers and pitching coaches on visits to the mound. And this is all happening within weeks of the release of the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42. While all baseball fans applaud one of the greatest men to ever play the game, someone who fearlessly confronted racism day after day after day, others turn around and call Yu Darvish a gook. What the fucking shit?