July 29, 2018

William Evans

AFTER HIS RACIST TWEETS ARE EXPOSED DURING BASEBALL’S ALL-STAR GAME, MILWAUKEE GIVES JOSH HADER A STANDING OVATION

What occurs to me, now two decades after I broke
the earth beneath me leaving second base, is that,
instead of an insult, I was perhaps a new god, having been
called something other than my name in a holy trinity
before, during and after the game. It might have been
Groveport, or Lancaster or any territory Ohio lays claim
to honestly, every town is different except for what they
will wield at you. I rounded third base, towards a litany
of nigger and nigger. How fortunate to have someone
waiting for you as you return home. How blessed to be
left to interpret your worshippers because they love you
enough to name you themselves.

from Poets Respond

__________

William Evans: “Through high school and my early college years, I was a multi-sport athlete, but I was a better baseball player than I was most other things. I learned to love baseball from my father, who ironically loved the game mostly in isolation that a young rural black boy has to. As my parents moved us up economically from neighborhood to monochromatic neighborhood, I found I was the only black baseball player on every baseball team. The fact that I was good probably saved me from being nothing more than a mascot during home games, but it made me an outright target in other school’s fields. The celebration of Josh Haden not only hit me hard because it felt like an outright dismissal of those that his hurtful words and rhetoric affected, but also as a reminder of just how American baseball is and always has been.” (web)

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