Sunday, October 12, 2008

Evan Longoria Apologized Before You Knew He Had To

After more than a week of hard feelings and heightened emotions, Evan Longoria has finally apologized for calling Dominicans uneducated quasi-Latinos.

Wait, you hadn't heard about that? That's because, as far as I can tell anyway, the uproar and the apology seem to be confined to the Spanish speaking press.

On October 2nd, Longoria gave an interview to Dave Brown of Big League Stew. The only thing I noticed coming out of that interview at the time was some pissiness on Longoria's part about not wanting to be asked questions about Eva Longoria anymore. Big deal.

But then he was asked about the mohawks, and I'll admit that I totally missed this on my first skim through:

Q: Who on this team should not have gotten a Mohawk, no matter how much a team guy he wanted to be?

EL: Well, he still doesn't have one. Carlos [Pena]. And I told him not to. He asked me multiple times if he should get one. I just don't think he'll look good with it. He's the clean-cut Latin guy on our team. I guess it's debatable if he's Latin or not. He is Dominican. I told him not to.

Q: Has he been in the United States "too long" to be considered Latino anymore?

EL: I don't even look at him as Dominican, and that's nothing against Dominicans, but he's been in the States for so long — he went to high school and college here — in the States. He's very well educated and it's tough for me to look at him and think he came from the Dominican.

Got that? Longoria said he doesn't think of Carlos Pena as a Dominican because "he's very well educated," and isn't sure if Dominicans -- or possibly Dominicans who have been in the U.S. for a long time like Pena has -- should be considered Latino in the first place.

I hadn't heard of any uproar over it, but our neighbors to the south were apparently not happy with that answer. So not happy that Longoria was forced to issue an apology over it (other variations on the theme, all of them in Spanish, can be found here, here, and here). I Googled my little heart out and couldn't find anything about it in English. Just an utter non-story outside of the ESPN Deportes demographic.

Which it probably should be. I have no idea what lurks in the heart of Evan Longoria, but I tend to give people the initial benefit of the doubt when it comes to saying dumbass things, mostly because I and most other humans say dumbass things all the time. If (a) your words seem more clueless than malicious; (b) you don't have a track record of unenlightened speech or behavior; and (c) you apologize relatively promptly and sincerely without the aid of three spokesmen and a lawyer, I'm probably going to give you a pass. Longoria's past, his words, and then his apology all seem to fit that description.

But I am a bit surprised that no one jumped on that before now and that, as of Sunday night anyway, no one in the English speaking press has noticed the apology and then done the backfill as to what fomented it in the first place.

BONUS! It's been 16 years since I've used Spanish to do anything other than order a third margarita (I'm sober enough for the first two to know not to act like a moron), so I needed a little help reading the linked ESPNDeportes article. While I eventually just asked a Spanish speaker I know to give me the gist, I first took a total shot in the dark and ran it through Babelfish, which is always fun. In this case I got the usual gibberish, but there was one stone cold awesome bit of literal translation that is going to stick with me forever:

“It would try to offend to somebody by its nationality, race or color, never" added the antesalista of the Rays of Tampa Bay, while it was prepared to face the Red Averages of Boston in Tropicana Field.
The Red Averages! Now that's something I hope to see on a sign in New Yankee Stadium next season.

Many, many thanks to ShysterBall reader Utpal Sandasara who tipped me off to the whole thing and shot me the links.

1 comment:

Ari Collins said...

Yeah, people on Sons of Sam Horn (ridiculously huge Red Sox discussion board) have been joking about the Red Averages for a while. Oh, Babelfish.

You know what I would wear? A "Red Averages" shirt. Hells yeah.