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Sport Derek Jeter blames ‘instant gratification’ on MLB’s decline in black players

17:25  23 january  2020
17:25  23 january  2020 Source:   nydailynews.com

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Curtis Granderson: Decline of black players in MLB is 'a big problem'. In 2013, former MLB commissioner Bud Selig created a task force on diversity to address the declining number of African Americans playing baseball.

Derek Jeter . Position: Shortstop. Bats: Right • Throws: Right. 6-3, 195lb (190cm, 88kg). Born: June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, NJ us. Draft: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (6th) of the 1992 MLB June Amateur Draft from Central HS (Kalamazoo, MI).

African-American participation in baseball has declined over the decades, but Derek Jeter believes the kids are at least partly to blame.

a man wearing a hat© Charlie Neibergall / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sitting beside fellow Hall of Fame electee Larry Walker at their first press conference since being elected to the Hall of Fame, Jeter shared one reason for the rapid decline in black participation across the league since his 1995 arrival.

“I think, you know, the younger generation — and let me finish before anyone judges me,” Jeter remarked. “I think you’re into instant gratification.”

The Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop entered a league where approximately 16.1% of the league identified as African American, per the Society of Baseball Research. By 2014, Jeter’s final season, it was down to 6.7%.

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  Derek Jeter, Larry Walker elected to baseball Hall of Fame Derek Jeter, Larry Walker elected to baseball Hall of FameThe longtime New York Yankees captain appeared on 396 of 397 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, falling just shy of the standard set when longtime Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous selection last year.

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Details of the history of black players in professional American football depend on the professional football league considered, which includes the National Football League (NFL)

Jeter, who is black, elaborated on the impatience he sees among kids these days. He juxtaposed the path to the NFL and NBA — both leagues’ respective rosters float at or above 70% black — with MLB, noting that the route to playing in their big leagues was much faster.

Video by CBS Sports

“If you see a player playing college basketball, the next year they’re in the NBA.” Jeter explained.

But baseball?

“You see someone playing college baseball they disappear for three years” referring to the arduous process of minor league baseball. “So, I think kids nowadays, they want to go towards, not the easier route, but the fastest route.”

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Just eight percent of MLB players are African American, well below the national population of roughly 14 percent. When discussing the racial discrepancies that exist across MLB , the immediate response to the predicament is to criticize the system that propels youth baseball players a chance to play .

Giving into this need for instant gratification , has the potential to set the club back, rather than move them forward. What makes the idea of dumping Del Rio and bringing in Gruden Oh, sure, seeing Del Rio canned on Black Monday would undoubtedly make some people feel good in that moment.

Jeter’s probably right. Athletes want to test their skills at the highest level as soon as possible. But what he didn’t mention was why elite athletes from underprivileged backgrounds — black families, in particular, hold less than seven cents on the dollar compared to white households — might want an instantly gratifying paycheck.

Ignoring the fact that college baseball scholarships — which are limited to just 11.7 per Division I team — lag behind basketball and football, minor leaguers often only receive around $1300 a month when starting out. MLB has long sought to keep their sub-poverty incomes as the status quo, most recently by lobbying Congress to entrench a legal exemption to federal minimum wage laws.

That’s a tough ask for a kid fresh out of school, even moreso for the vast majority of black Americans, no matter their wages.

MLB also capped bonuses for amateur talent that limit the early returns for elite two-sport prospects. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, who would have been offered a special exemption from the league to receive a Major League contract, but for many athletes approaching his caliber, passing on the MLB for the NFL is a mathematically sound choice.

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The percentage of black players in MLB has dropped by 20% over the past 40 years — here' s a startling theory why. The presence of black players on Major League Baseball teams stands at about 8% — that' s a huge decline compared with the 1970 s .

Below is a list of the first black players in Major League Baseball in chronological order. The baseball color line excluded players of black African descent from Major League Baseball and its affiliated Minor Leagues until 1947

Nonetheless, the Yankees shortstop turned Marlins CEO described the lack of patience from today’s youth as “unfortunate.”

Jeter did credit Major League Baseball with “getting more inner-city kids to play the sport,” even though he conceded, “we need to do a much better job at that.”

However, Jeter was unsure of what a “better job” would entail. “If there was an easy answer for it, we’d have figured it out a long time ago.”

Perhaps the answer is better left unsaid.

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We may never know the one voter who didn't pick Derek Jeter for the Hall of Fame .
As you know, New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July with every possible vote except one. When the votes by the Baseball Writers Association of America were announced last month, Jeter was on 396 of 397 ballots. Jeter himself didn’t seem the care. He was in. He wasn’t unanimous like longtime teammate Mariano Rivera, who became the first unanimous Hall of Famer last year. But there’s no special wing of Cooperstown for people who get 100 percent of the vote. Heck, it’s 2020, getting 396 people to agree on anything ain’t easy. Even if Jeter didn’t care, the Internet doesn’t forget.

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