La Russa takes issue with O’s Jones
Former manager Tony La Russa recognizes there are issues that affect the black community in the United States, but he doesn’t agree with what Orioles star Adam Jones said and questions the motives of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem.
Appearing Wednesday on ESPN Radio, La Russa said that while he respects Jones as a person and player, the outfielder was off base when he said baseball is a “white man’s sport.”
“When he says it’s a white, like elitist kind of sport, how much wronger can he be?” said La Russa, now the chief baseball officer of the Diamondbacks. “We want the black athletes to play baseball and we’re working to make that happen in the inner cities. We have a lot of Latin players, we have players from the Pacific Rim.”
La Russa said baseball is the smart choice for young athletes regardless of race.
“If you pick the sport where you have all shapes and sizes, you can retire and not walk around crippled, it’s got to be baseball,” he said.
La Russa also said he “really distrust(s)” Kaepernick’s sincerity.
“I was there in the Bay Area when he first was a star (and) I never once saw him do anything but promote himself,” La Russa said. “All of a sudden now he’s a second-stringer and he’s got this mission. Even if he was sincere, there’s ways to express your belief in some of the issues that face blacks around this country without disrespecting the country you live in or the flag that it represents.”
When asked if as a manager he would let a player sit during the anthem, La Russa said he “absolutely would not allow it.”