Florida Governor and presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis, seemed more relaxed than usual during a recent news interview. Perhaps this was because he was being interviewed on the Christian Broadcasting Network and wouldn't be challenged with any substantive questions, like, "Why do you make the lives of desperate migrants worse by using them as expensive political props?" Instead, the CBN interviewer asked DeSantis to share his thoughts on baseball. Naturally, DeSantis managed to work his misogyny and racism into his response.
He began by citing a Ted Williams quote: "Baseball gives every American boy a chance to succeed." By focusing only on boys, DeSantis not only excludes half of the population but also fails to acknowledge the strides made by women in sports. The world of baseball, much like DeSantis's "Handmaid's Tale" vision for America, only has room for boys. Girls, it seems, aren't worth mentioning.
Next, he draws a distinction between baseball, a "democratic" and "meritocratic" game, and basketball, which according to him, is dominated by "freaks of nature." Given the predominance of Black athletes in basketball, his comment propagates the stereotype that Black individuals are innately athletic rather than attributing their success to hard work and strategic thinking — characteristics he attributes to baseball, a sport with a significantly higher proportion of white players. That's strike two, Governor, for fueling harmful racial stereotypes.
And from a logical perspective, DeSantis's comments appear to contradict each other. He claims that baseball is an equal opportunity game, while in the same breath, he acknowledges that different roles in the game require distinct skills. "In baseball, you know, you have some guys that might not necessarily be the best athlete, but maybe they've got, you know, that slider that nobody can hit or they have the skills that allow them to compete at the highest level." Well, Governor, which is it? Can anyone become a star with enough effort, or do we need to be born with a golden arm or a silver slugger's bat?
Most people think DeSantis has no chance of winning the GOP primary. But if he manages to work his gender bias, racial insensitivity, and logical inconsistency into every question he answers, he's likely to bolster his image among Republican voters as he campaigns for the presidency.