By Jo Ann Lawery
Updated: November 2, 2004

Bill Rhoden

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.—On October 31st, Black Box ran an article about what a reporter, namely Bill Rhoden of the New York Times said or mainly didn’t even bother to mention about two members of the World Champion Boston Red Sox.

Two players in question, Dave roberts and Ron “Papa Jack” Jackson just happen to be Black.
Rhoden, and I didn’t read the article myself, never mentioned this fact.
Is that his fault that fact was left out or the fault of the Times?
I’m sorry, call me very naive, but if Mr. Rhoden wanted to bring up the fact that Roberts and Jackson were two members of a baseball team in a city with the reputation of Boston, he could have in my opionion. No one was putting a gun to his head.
We know how the print mainstream media is, but on the internet, where there are many sports websites, one can write about anything, good taste or bad.
(I should know. I personally have mentioned on the other two websites that I write for, if a player isn’t white.)
I’ve you’ve read any of my columns here at BASN, you know that I’m very opinionated and tend to disagree a lot with what is on the Black Box.
This time,no.
It is very important to mention that a player is Black.
Some people may say, what difference does that make?
A lot, especially to a young Black kid growing up, who thinks that all Black athletes play baseball and football only.
They need someone who they can look up to.
Besides, in the 1960’s when I grew up, blacks did play baseball and black children were exposed to the game.
I know I was. My late aunt would take me to Yankee Stadium after we went to church.
Like Rhoden, I know what it’s like to ask a black athlete about either playing in a sport or a city that’s perceived as white only.
(After all, I do mostly write about blacks in hockey.)
I can imagine if Mr. Rhoden were to have asked Roberts and Jackson about Barry Bonds comment, which he should have, by the way, he would have gotten a response, even if other reports, black and white, would have looked at him as if he were an alien.
Once again, call me naive or call me crazy, but isn’t that the job of a reporter to ask the tough and not so tough questions no matter how assnine they may sound to someone else?
And as for Barry Bonds comment on Boston, I lived in Boston for 15 years and consider it my second home.
Yeah, Boston does have a bad reputation, but let me say, I’d move back ito Boston in a New York minute if I could .
(Barry with your me, myself, and I attitute, no hell in way would you fit in with a team that affectionately calls themselves, “the idiots”, so don’t even think about moving the wife and kids to Massachusettes anytime soon, okay?)
The New York Times or even Mr. Rhoden himself deceided not to mention that oberts and Jackson happened to be Black.
Thank God that BASN did mention it and for that this sports writer, who is a Black woman is quite happy.