Chris Rock was recently on HBO’s Real Sports and he explained why baseball no longer appeals to black people and the youth. Rock makes a lot of good if not original points in his seven-minute rant. Baseball’s glacial pace and stodgy, unwritten ‘code’ – which frowns on bat flips, celebrations or really any kind of, you know … expressions of human joy – isn’t a good fit for today’s fast-paced, multi-racial society.
He also cites the usual statistics: plummeting participation rates in Little League, lousy World Series ratings and a TV audience that is predominantly white and old. “Maybe if baseball gets a little hipper, a little cooler, just a little more black,” Rock says, “the future can change.”
And he’s right. While baseball isn’t completely broken, it has its problems. At its core, baseball is still the great sport that Rock, a die-hard Mets fan, says he fell in love with growing up. There’s also nothing less cool than pretending you’re something you’re not. Baseball can stay baseball … it just simply needs to speed up play and encourage players to show their personality instead of having the sport’s culture and “code” actively crush all signs of charisma and entertainment value in their infancy. The sport could do all that and it would no doubt earn back much of the popularity it has lost in recent decades.
But in making this argument, Rock and so many others are unaware of their blind spot. They come at it as people who want baseball to be “entertaining.” And “popular.” And not an institution that exists solely to instruct the masses on doing things the “right way.”
What about all the people who watch baseball because they want the world to never change? The people who wish it was forever 1955? What about the people who think anyone who gets excited deserves to have a projectile thrown at their head at 95mph? What about the miserable? What about the bitter, old, white people? Are they not a demographic that deserves to have a sport that caters to their likes and interests?
Without baseball, what do they have left? Golf? No way. Too many Europeans and too much fist-pumping. Bowling? Ha! Pete Weber lives by no code. No, these people need baseball. It’s simply wrong for Chris Rock to try to take it from them in the years they have left.
Sure, baseball can make some minor changes to reinvigorate itself for the future and appeal to a younger, more diverse audience. But do we really want to throw the bath water out with the baby?
Original Article Found At TheGuardian.com –http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/apr/27/chris-rock-says-black-people-no-longer-like-baseball-and-he-may-be-right