African-American participation in baseball has been on a rapid decline for years. There are several reasons that can be attributed to this phenomenon. Comedian Chris Rock took on the topic during a recent episode on HBO’s Real Sports.
Rock has been a fan of the game most of his life, and explains why he believes baseball needs African-American players. One of the stats he listed during his monologue was that 20% of major league players were African-American when Chris Rock was growing up. During the 2014 World Series, there were zero black players on either team, and by Rock’s estimates not many African-Americans fans in the stands. The league currently contains 8.3% African-Americans.
“I don’t care about any of this as a black guy,” Rock said later in the segment. “I care about this as a baseball fan.” He said African-Americans “don’t really need” baseball, but baseball needs them. “The fact is, black America decides what’s hot and what young people get excited about.”
There’s a lot of truth in that last statement.