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    Bradley accuses Kent of racism, lack of leadership

    Bradley accuses Kent of racism, lack of leadership

    August 24, 2005
    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent are still at odds. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Jim Tracy and general manager Paul DePodesta wish they weren't -- especially now that Bradley has injected race into the equation.

    Bradley accused Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players in a 15-minute session with reporters at his locker before Tuesday night's 8-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

    The remarks came only a couple of minutes after he said that the feud between the two that became public last weekend in Florida was a ``dead issue.''

    ``The problem is, he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people,'' Bradley said. ``I think that's what's causing everything. It's a pattern of things that have been said -- things said off the cuff that I don't interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don't take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here.

    ``Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me -- more important than baseball,'' said the 27-year-old center fielder, whose voice never went beyond his normal speaking level. ``White people never want to see race -- with anything. But there's race involved in baseball. That's why there's less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I'm one of the few African-Americans that starts here.''

    Bradley did not like what Kent said to him after he failed to score from first base on a double in Saturday's victory over the Florida Marlins. Bradley initiated a 25-minute closed-door meeting with Tracy after that game.

    ``I was told in spring training I was the team leader -- by Paul DePodesta. By Jim Tracy. By (team owner) Frank McCourt,'' Bradley said. ``Growing up in L.A., I know how to deal with all types of people, and I do it on an everyday basis. But some people don't deal with all different types of people every day, and therefore don't know how to handle situations when they arise.''

    DePodesta issued a statement after Tuesday's game, saying: ``Everyone at the Los Angeles Dodgers is committed to winning. It has been a frustrating season for all of us and our fans, as we have dealt with plenty of adversity.

    ``We have a talented team of passionate players who take their performance -- as well as the team's performance -- personally. Under the circumstances, it is not unusual for players' emotions to run high. However, if and when any issue arises that runs contrary to the goals and values of the organization, there should be no question that we address it.''

    Kent hadn't yet arrived at his locker when Bradley began his criticism of him, but Bradley accused the media of coming to his locker first Tuesday because of who he is, and the baggage that follows him around -- including the anger management classes the Dodgers required Bradley to take after several outbursts last season.

    ``At no time am I going to let somebody question my hustle, my injury or question my motivation for playing,'' Bradley said. ``I watch him on the field, and I follow in his footsteps and the things he does on the field. As far as off the field, he has no clue about leadership.

    ``If you're going to be the leader of the team, then you need to mingle with the team and associate with the team. I mean, you can't have your locker in the corner, put your headphones on and sit in the corner reading a motocross magazine. He's in his own world. Everybody else is in this world.''

    Bradley, who tweaked his sore left knee while trying to beat out a double play grounder in Monday's loss at Florida, was a late scratch Tuesday because of irritation in the patella tendon.

    Kent, a former NL MVP who feuded with Barry Bonds in San Francisco, defended himself following Bradley's accusations.

    ``He can go ahead and say those types of things, and it comes from an incident that he still doesn't get. And that's a shame,'' Kent said. ``If you think that I've got a problem with African-Americans, then go talk to Dusty Baker. Go talk to Dave Winfield, who took me under his wing. Go talk to Joe Carter -- all the guys that I idolized in this game and all the veteran players who taught me how to play this game.

    ``That's a shame, and I take offense to that. That's just absolutely pathetic if it comes from his mouth. I will not get into this anymore, and that's all I've got to say.''

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Bradley accuses Kent of racism, lack of leadership

    ``Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me -- more important than baseball,''
    I don't know about everyone else, but this statement bothers me a lot. If Kent (or any white guy) had made this statement, "Me being a Caucasian is the most important thing to me", he would have been skewered by every level of media and public opinion. Yet, Bradley says it with very little said in return.

    It just seems like when it comes to hot buttons like "racism" there appears to be a very significant double standard. I'd be offended if a white guy said that, and I am offended to hear a black guy say that.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Bradley accuses Kent of racism, lack of leadership

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Yet, Bradley says it with very little said in return.
    In truth, I suspect you aren't surprised by this. As long as you have nation-states, you will have nationalities. The problem lies with the hyphen. You cannot have a hyphenated nation. It doesn't matter whether you want to be seen as an african-american, jewish-american, or irish-american. If you want your identity defined by the hyphen, then you will never see beyond the horizon.

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956

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