by Tony Lee 8 Apr 2014
On the 40th anniversary of his momentous 715th home run that broke Babe Ruth's MLB home run record, which is the most meaningful in all of sports, Hank Aaron equated Republicans who oppose President Barack Obama's policies to the KKK.
Aaron implied that conservatives are racists who now wear "neckties and starched shirts" instead of hoods.
In an interview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday, "Hammerin' Hank" lamented that the country has not progressed far enough on race relations, saying that though the nation has a black president, "President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated."
"We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country," Aaron said. "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."
Aaron received death threats as he was nearing Ruth's record 40 years ago. And when he finally slugged No. 715 off of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully remarked that Aaron's poker face gave way and the "tremendous strain" that he had experienced and the "relief" from it finally showed. Scully also remarked that it was a marvelous moment as a "black man was getting a standing ovation in the deep South for breaking the record of an all-time baseball idol."
Aaron's remarks are similar to those that agitator Al Sharpton repeatedly makes about those who oppose Obama or the Congressional Black Caucus's agenda, likening them to Jim Crow's sons. Or, in Sharpton's words, "James Crow, Jr., Esq."
The Braves wore throwback uniforms to honor Aaron before Tuesday night's game against the New York Mets at Turner Field.