Twins criticized for having only one African-American player

Aaron Hicks (pictured) is the only African-American currently on the Twins' roster.
Aaron Hicks (pictured) is the only African-American currently on the Twins' roster.

Last fall, the Minnesota Timberwolves took heat from local black leaders for putting together the whitest roster the NBA had seen since the Bird- and McHale-led Celtics teams of the late 1980s. Now it's the Twins' turn.

SEE ALSO: Twins offer lesbian kissers more apologies, free tickets after guard harassment

Charles Hallman, a black columnist who writes regularly for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and blogs at the Twin Cities Daily Planet, is calling out the Twins for talking a big game but not walking the walk when it comes to having diversity on the field, among the coaching staff, and in the front office.

In "Twins' diversity talk seems mostly for show," Hallman points out that the Twins have just one African-American player on the roster -- rookie outfielder Aaron Hicks. Last offseason, they traded two African-Americans -- Ben Revere and Denard Span -- and cut ties with their only African-American coach, Jerry White. (In fairness, the Twins do have a number of black Latinos on their roster.)

Perhaps more notably, Hallman reports that only one of the Twins' 122 front-office employees is black.

Regarding the team's upcoming "Diversity Days" celebration of Jackie Robinson during a game next Monday, Hallman writes that he "can only see these Twins 'diversity days' -- complete with fans receiving diversity T-shirts -- as for show purposes only."

Of course, ex-Twin Torii Hunter has repeatedly made headlines in recent years for decrying the decreasing number of African-Americans in the MLB. While still with the Twins in 2007, he predicted that "10 years from now you'll see no blacks, at all" in the league. In a less artful moment three years later, he characterized black Latino players as "impostors" while making largely the same point.

According to a USA Today report published this week, less than 8 percent of MLB players on opening day rosters this year were black. That's a post-integration record low.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >