Dempster v Bradley (Extended Muskrat Mix)
The eventual moral of today's story is: never ask a Canadian a serious question, particularly about serious topics like racism. The cubs.com writer Carrie Muskat did just that the other day, and got a bit of a ramble, with some serious bromance with future Cub Kevin Millar, from noted Canadian Ryan Dempster.
When asked if he has ever encountered racism in Chicago, Demp passed the Ryne Sandberg Aptitude Test with flying colors by noting he, himself is white, and thus, unqualified to answer the question. When asked if he himself ever receives hate mail, he acknowledged that Millar scribbles teasing notes to him, in crayon, and passes them in the locker room. I can see Millar folding it awkwardly, handing it to Bobby Scales, stage-whispering "pass this to Demp", then Scales turning to Mikey Fontenot, shrugging futilely, handing him the note and turning back around as quickly as possible as to disassociate himself from the task.
Font, of course, drops the note, not once, but twice, and then manages to fumble it into Demp's lap, just as Ryan stands up to walk to the toilet for a wee.
Fact is, I have sat in the bleachers and heard all sorts of crude, racist comments, shouted for emphasis, to such luminaries as Darryl Strawberry, Rickey Henderson, and Nyjer Morgan (lord, they have fun with THAT one). I've heard comments way back when for the 'benefit' of Lee Smith, towards the end of his tenure, when he was no longer fooling people. I've seen people call Jacque Jones vile things pertaining to his persuasion as an African-American. As a Cub.
I did not have the pleasure (right) to sit in the bleachers last year, but I would be willing to bet my house, and all the cool stuff in the basement, that at least one Bleacher Chad called Bradley the n-word, or something similar, during his stay with us. Probably, once he went public with his assertions of harassment, which coincided with the eventual demise of the 2009 Chicago Cubs, the number of racist comments only increased, if I know my mindless proto-yuppie drunks like I believe I do.
Anyone who steps out and says that Milton Bradley is 100% lying about what was said to him is sadly delusional, in severe denial, and simply wrong. I believe there was hate mail. I believe there may have been an incident at his childrens' school. Maybe you, gentle reader, have lived your life in an enlightened enclave of this earth, where nobody ever makes stupid, prejudicial remarks about anyone. Good for you. I do not reside in such a place. Ridiculous, hurtful statements are made every single solitary DAY in my hometown about Blacks and Mexicans, by people who frankly, I am close to. It is a learned behavior, passed down from one generation to another in a hallowed tradition of ignorance and fear.
We all react to it differently. Dempster makes a joke out of it, which he tends to do about the troubles about all people who are not himself. Others, like some of the spineless twits I see all the time on Facebook, deny that such things happen. A few people, usually those heavily steeped in political correctness and leaning so left that they can't do math anymore, for all the times they've smacked their left forehead into the doorjamb, wring their hands and condemn Cubs fans for their drunkenness, lack of thought, lack of human dignity, and overall beneathness.
Then come the true lowlifes, the Sox fans, Cardinal fans, and lately, Brewer fans, who read what these real-life LOOGY's write and hold that up as certain proof that Cub Fans are not knowledgeable, because any person that would call Milton Bradley an N-word certainly knows nothing about baseball, certainly less than a good Sox fan, Cardinal fan or Brewer fan.
Never mind that much of the racial taunting I have witnessed happened in the bleachers at Comiskey. Never mind that most Cardinal fans expressed sincere shock when their swollen, pus-filled hero finally admitted to using the juice. Never mind it is most Brewer fans who don't know who the hell plays for their team, besides Braun and Prince. (Not that they have any real reason to know who plays for them).
Yes, Virginia, some people who come to Wrigley Field, presumably to root for the home team, are racists. They say crude things about Black people. Invariably, though, these same mopes also say crude things about White people, as well as Latin people and most recently, Asian people. If the two guys from India someday pitch for the Pirates, you can bet there will be a lot of "dot" jokes from the boozy dick-breaths who sit behind the vines, as well.
This is part of the reason why I, myself, sit in the other sections of the park that are not bleachers. When sitting in the upper deck or behind home plate with your wife or family or group of friends, you still feel you are there with your group, as one little enclave in a sea of likeminded enclaves. But in the Bud Light Bleachers, a crowd mentality does tend to form.
This togetherness, fueled by alcohol, bought or smuggled, plus any other available intoxicants, does result in an emboldened spirit and the elimination of any inhibitions. The poor inhibitions that, frankly with this bunch, are probably a weak shield holding back the true ignorance of the species, spoiled, self-entitled twenty-somethings who 'owe it to themselves' after a hard day of screwing all of us out of our economy in the trading pits or the bank branches, to get 'totally wasted' and yell obscenities at the poor excuse of a human being standing in right field who is so little invested in his craft that he forgot how many outs there were last inning.
So, yes Milton Bradley, I believe you. People were crappy to you here. Then again, bucko, if you would have removed your head out of your own ass, paid attention to your craft more, complained less, and kept your own damn stupid mouth shut around reporters, things would have went a lot better for you. Yes, as you cited, you can be Andre Dawson or Ernie Banks and make it here as a Black man. Those guys played hard every day of their lives, at far less than 100%. Both were renowned for playing every day with crippled knees, and never complaining. They were adult men, who realized they were making good money playing a child's game. You, Bradley, are not an adult. Once you figure that out, dickstick, your career and your life may work out better.