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Anniversary of Hank Aaron Home Run Record Marred By Racist Letters

"We still have a long ways to go," Aaron says.

Hank Aaron. (Patch file photo.)
Hank Aaron. (Patch file photo.)

Forty years after Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, some things remain the same. Among them: racial hatred.

USA Today reports that on the anniversary of Aaron's breaking of the "record that would never be broken," the Atlanta Braves office has been receiving letters laced with the most hateful epithet known to African Americans.

"Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)'' a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The story was published Tuesday, on Jackie Robinson Day, which is supposed to celebrate the man who broke the color barrier April 15, 1947, in a milestone for the civil rights movement.

When asked by USA TODAY Sports last month why he still keeps hate letters, Aaron calmly revealed his sentiments.

"To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record," he said. "If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There's not a whole lot that has changed.

"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at 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.

"The bigger difference is back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."

Forward.... April 16, 2014 at 02:57 PM
Mr. Aaron has lived through this vituperate before and it was only because he did the best job he could in beating Babe Ruth's record. So for that he was called horrible names. He stated his opinion, which is fact based but America is not able to face honesty or have that conversation about race. They rather continue to act out with name calling. For centuries, African Americans have been deemed as lazy, stupid, inferior yet when one reaches the level of accomplishments as Mr. Aaron or Mr. Obama, they are still only just a n-word! Not given the respect or appreciation other within their own circles. So if what he says makes you uncomfortable, imagine how uncomfortable it is to live it!
Ira April 16, 2014 at 03:40 PM
Aaron brought this on himself. He himself is full of racism. In an interview with USA Today prior to his day at the Braves game, he compared the GOP to the KKK. He couldn't be further from the truth and just confirmed he has joined the cry racism crowd. I lost all respect for this person.
Ann Hudren April 16, 2014 at 06:15 PM
"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at 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" ........... I am bewildered that Mr Aaron chose this path and used the worn out political excuses and apathy for President Obama. As a black woman I am shaking my head in disbelief. Silence is golden.

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