Judging by the below comments, there seems to be no other player that incites more ire in baseball fans than Fernando Rodney and his hat.
Some may say that the comments contain subtle hints of racism, which is often how it manifests in modern American society: subtlety. It's less overt, implied, more complex and maybe even unintentional. It's polarizing nature also makes it rarely discussed in any sort of constructive manner.
That shouldn't change us recognizing that there is indeed an underlying discrimination in some of the following comments that go beyond Rodney's hat but reveal some seemingly deep-seeded negative sentiments about everything from basketball to urban street style. The lines they strew that connect a tilted hat with being a thug and something "disgraceful" are made up of discriminatory judgements and destructive cliches.
The conversation should not be whether these statements are racist in nature or not. Even if you are inclined to say they are not, you could at least agree that they are thoughtless and flippant. The conversation should be about why something seemingly so harmless can incite such angry sentiment. And for what? A crooked hat worn by a player on a baseball field as an ode to his father.
this isn't basketball...ur not a thug, your a baseball player. wear the hat correctly like everybody else..its not just him tho, there are a few other pitchers who can't seem to figure out how to wear it right....and the excuse about doing it for his dad is BS.. -- David Bervig
what's next pants sagging below his ass. - John Reardon
It's called a uniform...not a fashion statement...disgraceful! - Eric Emet
It is a disgrace to the game, he looks like a idiot. -- Larry Cale
MLB should not allow this. - Jeffrey Hein
I hope MLB makes him straighten that up. Doesn't matter if he uses his father as an excuse to do it. It's not professional and looks stupid. - Dale McCoy
Looks Stupid..team game that's why they wear uniforms. - John Lord
He should respect the game. He looks like a thug. - Shane Schirmer
He needs to put that hat on right.I bet his pants are hanging off his ass also.Its pretty childish if u ask me.C.C. does it still with yankees asweel.Although that extreme.There's a handful of guys who do it and its pathetic.Mlb needs to install a rule here on players and their hip hop bs.Nba did it when allen iverson was on the benchj looking like tupac.a foot note also.you wont see any crackers disrespecting the game like that.Only steriod use lol. - Mike Glesner
Literally the first thing I was taught in my high school career is how to properly put on a hat and that you need to look like a professional on the field and off. You don't go into your desk job wearing flip flops and shorts. You don't tilt your cap to the side in baseball. I wont go as far as saying its "disgraceful" but it is unprofessional, if I were a manager I would not allow it. - Chris Nyman
Respect the lid and face it forward. - Chris Knasinksi
respect the game, this ain't the hood. -- WM Richard Campbell
Wear it right or don't wear it at all. You are playing baseball, not hanging with your homies. - Bryan Walz
get rid of this! this is DUMB BACKWARD HAT... GET A LIFE. - Jay Stanton
He looks like a thug idiot. -- Paula R Hoffman
I guarantee if I was writing his paycheck weekly, he would"nt be getting it UNTIL he straightened it up and looked like a professional....... - Doug Jurasevich
this looks F'ing retarded and is a disgrace to the game! - Michael Danes
Read all of the comments on MLB.com.