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I grew up watching Hank Aaron play baseball and loved it when he moved to Atlanta with the Braves in 1966. Undoubtedly, Aaron is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
However, since his retirement from the sport that made him famous, Aaron has made a lot of unnecessary racist comments, and it's getting old.
Most recently, Aaron said that he hoped rookie Jason Heyward would inspire more black players to play baseball. Come on, Hank, this is 2010! If Phil Niekro had made a similar comment when Jeff Francoeur had his stellar rookie year, I guarantee you the NAACP and black community would have branded Niekro a racist and the media would have been all over it. And the same would be true if NBA legend Larry Bird was lamenting the fact that there needs to be more white players in a league dominated by black players.
Any smart manager is going to start the best lineup regardless of color, and Braves skipper Bobby Cox is a prime example. What Aaron should be saying is that he hopes Heyward will inspire more kids to play baseball.