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."