Derek Jeter continues to fight the good fight. The former New York Yankees captain is known for his ability to expertly deflect questions about himself. But his active years are long over and Jeter has gotten more comfortable around the press. However, one topic he has always readily spoken about is the matter of race.

The Yankees legend grew up biracial as the son of Dorothy and Sanderson Jeter when interracial marriages weren’t too common. He faced his fair share of trials and tribulations in what continues to be America’s problem today. The issue has percolated into baseball as well, although fortunately, the time of the segregated Negro League Baseball is long over. And yet, uniting the masses under one league has not helped the diminishing diversity in MLB.

Derek Jeter Gets Honest About Black Players in MLB


Article continues below this ad

Earlier this year, the league’s only major baseball video game, MLB The Show, focused on a rarely discussed subject – the Negro Leagues. The game makers wanted to highlight baseball’s history and how it has evolved over the years, featuring stars from the NLB. Jeter, who made it to the cover of a special edition, spoke about how important this discussion was. According to his estimate, few youngsters today know about this evolution.

And in a recent appearance on Black Diamonds, a podcast hosted by Bob Kendrick, President of the NLB Museum, the Hall of Famer shed more light on Black baseball players in this century.

Around the 2:51 mark, Jeter discusses the recent HBCU Swingman Classic. “I know we just started this, but the number of Black players in Major League Baseball just continues to dwindle, and that’s unfortunate.

“Any time you get a chance to shine a light on those great players, Black players – to get a chance to shine a light on them in this platform here at the All-Star Game? I mean, that’s-it’s just awesome, and it’s long, long, long overdue,” he tells Kendrick.

READ MORE – “It’s a Whole Different Era”- Yankees Icon Derek Jeter Gets Candid About Latest Addition of the Negro Leagues in MLB the Show 23

The HBCU event is a show that focuses on players from 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It led off the All-Star festivities at T-Mobile Park in July this year, hosted by none other than Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr.


Article continues below this ad

Ken Griffey Jr. Focuses on the Exact Black Player Ratio in MLB

The retired ballplayer is another name who has been trying to bring focus on Black names in baseball. The numbers, sadly, continue to decline. “You’re talking about 6.2%,” the former Mariner told The Seattle Times last month.

Griffey, like Jeter, wanted to change things and so was born the idea of the HBCU Swingman Classic. As one would expect, it was a big hit.


Article continues below this ad

Now the hope is that this conversation continues to take place all year round, not just during designated events.

WATCH THIS STORY: New York Yankees Legend Derek Jeter Scripted The Perfect End To His Career With This Iconic Walk-off Single