Angst writes: you just love that racial boogeyman don't ya? Can't believe I gotta side with the Wilpons but when your fledgling star sings bitch, ho and nigga on a rap album and you wanna sell a product to parents and children, they;re not racist, they're business men. F*** this moral safe house where everyone does it so he should be excused.
(I edited out that bad word beginning with F, because nobody should use bad words.)
I know you live in a fantasy world where racism ended 20 years ago, but the rest of us don't live there. To deny that the elements of racism exist is to turn a blind eye to a problem that will never go away. I ask you: are those dirty words really that big of a deal? I mean, if David Wright sang in a punk band and released a cover of "It's So Easy" by Guns N' Roses, would he have gotten the same treatment as Milledge?
Angst responds: I don't live in a fantasy world, of course racism exists. but yours is a perceived racism, a convenient excuse to lay blame. This is the organization that gave New York its first and second black managers and has poured millions of dollars into non-white players. When David Wright fronts a punk cover band you let me know. David though never angered his teammates and showed up the opponent, he didn't have to be investigated prior to draft for statutory rape and Wright don't show up an hour before game time. When the organization has to answer as to why one of their players records a song celebrating guns, drug use, and the objectification of woman, its a fast ticket out of town. I'm not the censorship police, but he gave management enough justification to trade him. To scream racism is narrow minded. Save your outrage for honest to God bigotry.
Like most people, you have to get your facts straight about Milledge.
* If I leave a handwritten note at your garage that says "Joe Falzarano molests collies," it doesn't mean you should be branded as someone who was investigated for bestiality. Therefore, perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to brand Milledge as someone investigated "prior to the draft for statutory rape" based on such incredibly flimsy evidence.
He was the target of an anonymous and ultimately unfounded accusation - an unsigned handwritten note that suggested he was receiving sexual favors from 13-year-old students at his high school. As that witch-hunt played out, Milledge (who was 17 at the time) eventually admitted to having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. That's it. Read the story here.
Think of the term "statutory rape" and what it implies. Then realize what Lastings Milledge actually did and realize how inappropriate it is to apply that term to it. Google "Genarlow Wilson" to find out what can happen to black teenagers from the South who hook up with girls two years younger than them. Luckily for Lastings, he is from Florida and not Georgia, and didn't end up in jail for the heinous crime of getting some before the age of 18.
By the way, isn't it funny how you never hear of a white athlete getting caught up in a "scandal" like this? I guess white kids never have sex before the age of 18, and even then it only happens with other 18-year olds. Oh wait, I might be accused of conjuring up the racial boogeyman again instead of saving my outrage for honest to God bigotry. I'll be curious to see which category the Wilson case will fall into in your eyes.
* Milledge exchanged high-fives with fans when he returned to his position after hitting his first major league home run to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning. He didn't show anyone up - he shared the enjoyment of a memorable moment on the baseball field with some of the paying customers. This is supposed to be indicative of a negative character issue? Where does this outrage over the perceived "showing up" of an opponent even come from? Who, exactly, decided that ignoring the fans during the game is considered a sign of good character, while engaging with them in the moment is a sign of bad character?
* Professional baseball is a job. Do you show up at your job two or three hours early each day so you can get better at it? Or do you show up on time, do your work and go home? I know you aren't pulling daily 11-hour shifts so you can become the best worker in your garage. Why, then, does Lastings Milledge have to show up early at this job?
Milledge's comments from the linked article: "You know, there's always a thing where, 'Oh, rookies have to be here 2-1/2 or three hours before stretch.' No. I'm not gonna be here three hours before stretch. If you're here and you get your work in, it shouldn't matter how early you're at the field. You know what you need to do. That's fine. You don't have to be at the park three, four hours before the park if you don't want. You don't see nobody clocking in three or four hours before they have to show up to work. So, I mean, some people feel like they have to get here to read the newspaper or do crossword puzzles or get their mind ready. I feel like I come to the park, I have 45 minutes of stuff I have to do to get prepared for practice and get ready for the game. Five minutes might be watching videos. Fifteen minutes might be going in the cage. And then getting whatever other work I need."
* On the rare occasions when you're late for work, does your boss single you out, publicly embarrass you and question your commitment to your job? Do your co-workers use your lateness as an opportunity to advance a negative agenda about you? Lastings Milledge's former co-workers did. You are continuing to do so.
* Milledge didn't record a song about guns, drug use, and the objectification of women, as you baselessly claim. He produced a song on his personal rap label for a childhood friend named Manny D called "Bend Ya' Knees." And yes, on that track he used language that he should have his mouth washed out with soap for. But there wasn't one lyric in that song that glorified guns and drug use. It doesn't excuse the objectification, but it's one more example of how, with Lastings Milledge, his critics are always willing to play fast and loose with the truth in an attempt to denigrate his charcater.
So let's review. Lastings Milledge had sex with his girlfriend as a teenager. He slapped hands with ecstatic fans after hitting his first major league home run. He goes to work on time instead of a few hours early. He said some bad words on his friend's rap album. "Character" issues like this have been used to paint him as a brooding malcontent, if not an outright thug.
But if I think that some of this silliness might have something to do with Milledge being black, I'm being narrow-minded.