It is tough to be a St. Louis Cardinals fan these days.
The Cardinals were last seen getting booted out of the playoffs by their most hated rival, the Chicago Cubs.
Those same Cubs scooped up two former Cardinals, John Lackey and Jason Heyward, in free agency. The latter’s choice to leave St.Louis has brought out the worst when it comes to sports and race.
When outfielder Jason Heyward took less money to sign with the Cubs, a team with realistic World Series aspirations this upcoming season, “Baseball’s best fans” as some Cardinals supporters refer to themselves, showed who they really are.
See these tweets for further clarification:
I wasn’t the only one who noticed vitriol of the racial kind:
I'm sure the racist mouth-breathing legion of Cardinals fans will handle this Heyward signing well... Merry Christmas @BestFansStLouis!— Steven Ruggles (@stevenruggles) December 11, 2015
It seems that to a certain demographic in the fan base, Heyward leaving the Cardinals caused more anger in St. Louis County than the unrest in Ferguson, the Department of Justice report, and the Mizzou protests put together.
Shoot Black people, use them to subsidize suburban St. Louis’ suburban communities, keep housing segregation patterns in tact, but don’t mess with our baseball. That’s when we get up and arms.
Heyward’s signing with the Cubs illustrates a prevailing paternal tone when it comes to Black athletes controlling their own destiny. After all, Heyward took less money to sign with the Cubs.
Maybe he just didn’t like St.Louis? He played well in a contract year after being traded from Atlanta. Or maybe he read some of the tweets from Cardinals fans during the Ferguson ordeal? At any rate, him leaving more money on the table from a franchise that has won multiple championships for a team who hasn’t won a world series in 107 years ought to be a cause for concern in the Lou.
While Cubs fans were shaming Cardinals fans for racist behavior, I remembered that the Bleacher bums at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field have been historically unkind to Black players who don’t play well.
Former Cubs players and managers such as LaTroy Hawkins, Corey Patterson, Don Baylor, Jacque Jones, Milton Bradley, and Dusty Baker have all intimated that when things started to go bad in Chicago, racial slurs were used by some.
Hawkins once told USA Today that he had MLB security open his mail when things started to get ugly:
"I thought that stuff was over 30 years ago. I had never been exposed to it. ... I couldn't believe people were dropping the 'N-word' on me. People calling your mother a raccoon or you a porch monkey. You can only take so much abuse until you fight back. The same thing happening to me is happening to Jacque. To have people threatening to harm us over baseball games just doesn't make sense."
Also, let’s not forget that team icon Ernie Banks couldn't live anywhere near Wrigley Field when he first played for the Cubs. I’ll let you guess why.
I’m not picking on Cubs fans here. But to shame another fanbase for something that is in their own recent past, was comical. I had to call B.S.
Of course every fan base has varying problems with racism. However, history says that if Hayward doesn’t pan out, he may receive similar taunts from fans who is starving for a winner.
Let’s hope that Cubs fans don’t show their asses like Cardinals did.