No one’s better at publicly speaking uncomfortable truths about race than comedian Chris Rock. Whether he’s discussing race related to profiling, police brutality, politics, socioeconomic status, or Hollywood, his delivery is consistently nuanced and humorous, which softens the blow for all parties on the receiving end of ugly hard-to-accept facts. And that’s why he’s my favorite comedian. While he’s not the funniest man to ever walk the planet, he’s the best at using his platform to address society’s major issues. At a time when high-profile murders of black men have caused a divide in our country, Rock most recently used the power of social media to share his personal experiences of driving while black. For those of us who wake up in our brown skin everyday, it wasn’t hard to believe that the police would stop Rock three times in three months. That’s par for the course when you’re black in America. But for the majority of folks who were born with an inherent advantage because of skin color, it was eye-opening.
Well, Rock’s back to dropping knowledge on the masses. This time, he’s addressing the lack of African-Americans in Major League Baseball in a segment for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It takes the out-spoken Brooklyn native seven minutes to breakdown MLB’s race problem. And in typical Rock fashion, it’s compelling, thought-provoking, honest, and of course, funny.
Last week, MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, an annual event that takes place on April 15 to acknowledge and commemorate Robinson making his MLB debut as the league’s first black player. In addition to honoring Robinson breaking the color barrier, Jackie Robinson Day has ceremoniously been used as an icebreaker to discuss the growing concern with regard to the lack of Black Americans in the majors. But until now, no one’s kept it as real as Rock. If MLB is serious about fixing this issue, then it should start with listening to Rock, who nailed it, per usual.