Mets’ Granderson: Lack of black players in MLB is ‘a big problem’

Curtis Granderson says African-Americans are underrepresented both on the field and in the stands.

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Curtis Granderson remains concerned about the lack of black players in professional baseball.

The New York Mets outfielder spoke with “HuffPost Live” on Jackie Robinson Day and said the lack of black players in MLB is “definitely a big problem.”

“We consider baseball the American pastime,” Granderson said on Wednesday. “And if it’s going to be the American pastime, obviously the African-American population is at 13 percent, so the numbers aren’t matching up accordingly.

“The big thing is, there’s other interests that kids are involved in, and we’ve just got to continue to keep baseball as one those interests that kids want to play.”

Granderson noted that new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is making a priority of trying to get baseball back in inner cities. Former Commissioner Bud Selig created a task force to try to address this issue, so it’s not as if MLB hasn’t been making this a priority for a while. It’s too soon to know whether a difference is being made, but I know there are some prospects who have come up through MLB’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.

Either way, this has been an issue for Granderson for a while. A few years ago he lamented the lack of black fans at games, saying he could count the amount on one hand in some places.