The Braves Are Getting Racist Hate Mail About Hank Aaron

It's Jackie Robinson Day, a day when baseball takes a moment to recognize the man who broke the sport's color barrier, and the Braves continue to sift through hundreds of letters, many of them littered with racial slurs, bashing Hank Aaron.

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

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, "My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur)."

Aaron was a reluctant civil rights figure to begin with, but told USA Today last week that he keeps much of his old hate mail as a reminder "that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record."

As an example he offered up the right-wing critics of the first black president, and said, "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."

It was that comment that initiated the deluge of correspondence to the Braves, even as Aaron was being honored on the anniversary of his breaking the all-time home run record.

The Braves have been besieged by hundreds of letters, e-mails and phone calls deriding Aaron for his comments made to USA TODAY Sports.

Marion calls Aaron a "racist scumbag.'' Ronald won't attend another Braves' game until Aaron is fired. Mark calls Aaron a "classless,racist.'' David says that he will burn Aaron's I Had A Hammer autobiography.

According to MLB, 8.3 percent of players on opening-day rosters identified as African-American, down from a high of about 19 percent in 1986.

[USA Today]