Matsuzaka

Dan Warthen apologizes for ethnic slur

Dan Warthen used an ethnic slur while talking with Daisuke Matsuzaka’s interpreter, Jeff Cutler, according to the Wall Street Journal >> Read More

“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse,” Warthen said in a statement released by the team. “They were a poor attempt at humor, but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry.”

Sandy Alderson referred to the remark as “offensive, and “inappropriate,” while also apologizing on behalf of the organization.




118 comments
dhm3
dhm3

I cannot believe the ignorance by some Mets fans, even Mets fans of Chinese decent. We are Mets fans, of NYC for goodness sake!

First thing first, the apology from Dan and the organization appeared sincere, unlike the half-ass apology Steve Kerr made and non-apology from TNT when the announcer call Yao Ming Chinaman on a live broadcast a few years ago (I called TNT to complain and the woman with strong Southern accent on other end thought I was crazy), so I do believe the matter as far as Dan Warthen and Mets is concerned is close.  

Second, here is the history lesson, especially for recent Chinese immigrants who didn't realize the power of words.  The term Chinaman was coined in the 19th century when Chinese were brought in as slave labors to build the cross continental rails.  Instead of using the proper term Chinese, the word Chinaman was invented by those who deemed Chinese as subhuman, same as how the n-word derived from at the time a more proper term negro.  The attitude persisted such that Chinese had to live in segregated and locked-in areas as many Jews were in parts of Europe for centuries and denied US naturalization as a race until AFTER WWII (we were the only people in the world denied such privilege by the US government ever)Words have powers, we might live in an era where political correctness has ran amok but in this case the usage and origin of the word 'Chinaman' is nothing but evil.  The media is also at fault for not explaining why the term is offensive so we get ignorant statements like China+man=Chinaman.  ESPN even ran a story saying that Dice-K didn't care as if that were OK.  Well, Dice-K is Japanese and Chinaman was used to address his interpreter.  A side lesson, Japan from 18th century onward until their defeat in WWII deemed Chinese subhuman too and followed the Western imperialist peers of inventing racially denigrated terms addressing Chinese.  Such attitude led to their inhumane treatment of Chinese during their occupation comparable to the Nazi atrocity toward Eastern Europeans.  To this day, right wing nationalists there continuously try to legitimize their usage as 'tradition'.  Let's see how he reacts had someone call him Jap/Nip/Nagasaki/Hiroshima.  


I hope Ron and Gary will address this and explain why Chinaman is so offensive sometimes this season, perhaps during Asian or Chinese heritage day.  Clearly based on this thread such lesson is needed.  Keith with his history as team captain should also voice his opinion on why locker room should not be used as defense for racial slurs as John Niese clearly believes.  Such double standard shows dangerous ignorance, how many white players/coaches dare to use the n-word today, even behind locker rooms?  So it was OK because Mets do not have any players of Chinese decent or too bad the reporter happened to have Chinese blood in him?

Dave Margolis
Dave Margolis

So this is where we are now? It's now considered a racial slur to apologize for using a racial slur?

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Then again, watching this team play is kinda like Chinese Water Torture. Or should we just change that to Asian Water Torture?

poli42
poli42

Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature.

blutehre14
blutehre14

People get beat up by Yahoo's? Is it the crew from internet complaints or their tech team?

Or are you referring to Caucasian people? I hope so, That's why I like your comment. But you should have said white people (or is yahoos just the pc word for drunk whites) it is whst it is. More people speak there minds the better we'll be as a society

Lets go mets!!

philoso
philoso

Give me a break guys. This is a non-story.

As a Chinese American, it pisses me off that people think this is a racial slur. I am from China and I am a man. Some of my best white friends affectionately call me China man.

I have experienced real racial discrimination in the US and being called this term doesn't scratch the surface. Try sitting at a restaurant and the staff refuses to serve you because you are Chinese. Or having cab drivers ask you to leave their car because of you race. Or having a couple of yahoos beat you up because you are different.

This young reporter has NO idea what true discrimination is like!

Leave Dan Wharthen alone.

bruster
bruster

Like jerry Seinfeld said to Donna Chang " you know you're not Chinese" !....and neither is Dice-K

Patrick Mulcahy
Patrick Mulcahy

“The Chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you do not … also, Dude, “Chinaman” is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.”

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Sure, we've all become too sensitive but you still have to question the wisdom and taste of the comment. We haven't heard anything that offensive since the infamous 'Jewboy' comment some time ago. Dan Warthen is no bigot, of course, but you've gotta question his overall smarts.

johndoe
johndoe

If anyone is butthurt by this, they need to seriously lighten up and reconsider following sports. Literally speaking, Dice-K didn't even understand what Dan said because he consciously chooses not to learn English and yet people are defending his feelings about a joke that may have offended him. The fact that this became a story resulting in Dan apologizing truly shows how pathetic we've become as a society.

Glen Gordon
Glen Gordon

Englishman, Dutchman, Frenchman, Chinaman, Spaniard.  This is just dumb.  What has the media done to this country?

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

chinamen is a funny word tho.  good for cutler for not taking offense to it.  Italian people get made fun of all the time and i could care less its funny.  Nobody ever blinks an eye when italians get made fun.

Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love

I'm more disturbed by the fact that Matsuzaka still needs an interpreter. He's an extremely wealthy man who's been pitching in America in the major leagues for 8 years - he can't find the time to learn English?

archer41
archer41

Warthan's comments are inexcusable, but I wish the Mets were more sensitive about winning and losing.

jiggieny
jiggieny

A lot of people are revealing their ignorance by commenting about this. It's pretty clear cut. Warthen made a racist joke, then followed it up with a racist apology and thought it was fine. Let the Asian community decide whether or not the term "chinaman" is offensive or not. 

rjsallstars
rjsallstars

No, I think other African Americans have the market on that.

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

What this article fails to mention is that Warthen's apology consisted of him squinting his eyes, putting his palms together in a prayer like fashion, bowing and saying "oh, so solly."

anymos
anymos

@dhm3 This shouldn't even be a story.  Warthen realized he was out of line and apologized directly to individual he may have offended.  Warthen is like many guys who spend their lifetime in baseball- not the brightest bulb, and even his apology was lacking.  If the reporter standing there was offended, he should have said something to Warthen's face instead of writing an artcle about a private conversation to which he was a third party.  If every reporter reported every offensive term they heard in a lockerroom conversation, that would consume most of the sports page.

dhm3
dhm3

@philoso Learn your own heritage in this country.  Chinaman is not China+man.  It was invented in 19th century to address the Chinese slave labors brought into this country.  Because the term Chinese is proper, people invented a new word Chinaman to make it easy for the general public to treat the Chinese as nonhuman.  Same as how the n-word was derived from the more proper term negro when it was invented.  During the period when the word Chinaman was widely used in this country, Chinese were forced to live in locked-in ghettos and deny naturalization.  We are the only immigrants ever denied such privilege in this country.  So yes, Chinaman was and is a very offensive racial slur.  

Just because you are a recent immigrant sharing the same blood, it does not mean you get to smear those who came before you and suffered.  And if you are not a recent immigrant, shame on you for not knowing. 

nwmets
nwmets

@philoso  You're kind of missing the point -- the problem here is that Dice-K is not Chinese.

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

Sorry if anything like that has happened to you. That's real racism.

blutehre14
blutehre14

Why aren't you putting this up, to true for the moderator?

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

@bruster Didn't Jerry's father tell J. Peterman to buy his fabric from 'some Chinaman in the Garment District?'

dhm3
dhm3

@Glen Gordon Chinaman is not China+man.  It was invented and used similar to how n-word was derived from negro (at a time when the term negro was proper) so the general public can feel ok to treat the Chinese labors as subhuman.  It was intentionally use to differ from the proper term 'Chinese'.  For a time in the West, killing 'Chinese' is a crime but not for killing 'Chinaman'. 

blutehre14
blutehre14

To answer your question, pussify and what you say is only part of it, be careful what you do because there's a label for that too. Nobody is allowed to say or express their true feelings for fear of retribution from people who cannot handle the truth. So most people ride the fence in public and lean towards political correctness.

jiggieny
jiggieny

@Louder Than Love  How is that disturbing and how is that an issue at all? Do you know how many Asian players there are in the mlb that need interpreters? This is incredible.

Chris Wang
Chris Wang

@Chapter 7 I'm Chinese and I think that was pretty funny. The most offensive thing about Warthen is his poor sense of humor.

Michael Sokolowski
Michael Sokolowski

@Chapter 7 Ignorant comment with zero thought of others' culture. You show an ineptitude of any human decency. Great job, awesome comment.

vimets
vimets

What about the Polish?

Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love

@jiggieny Forgive me if I don't think it's too much to ask anyone to learn the common tongue of the country that makes them incredibly rich. If Dice-K was a partner with a major Japanese investment firm that did business in the US, rest assured he'd speak fluent English. But he's not a businessman - he's an athlete. Does throwing a fastball excuse a person from delving into basic linguistics? Wilmer Flores did an interview with the guys in the both last week, and to be honest, his English wasn't very good. But at least he tries. Quite frankly, the rest of the world speaks better English than most Americans do. So before your heart bleeds all over the place, consider those facts.

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

I was obviously making a joke referring to the old racial stereotypes portrayed in American pop culture. Sorry to offend you.

Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love

@jiggieny You're clearly not interested in considering my point of view. You don't have to agree with me, but you could at least do me the courtesy of not responding to every post I make with whatever hypothetical situation your mind can muster up. I have no interest in that kind of conversation. No offense, but have a good day.


jiggieny
jiggieny

@Louder Than Love  So according to you, every American playing ball in a foreign nation should be speaking the language of the respective country? That is simply false and quite frankly egocentric.


And since when has being the 5th starter of the mets playing on a "national stage?" The only people watching mets games are mets fans. Let's be real.

Chris Sullivan
Chris Sullivan

@Louder Than Love Perhaps he is not confident that he can express himself clearly using English in interviews, and does not want to say something that can be misconstrued or poked fun at.

Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love

@jiggieny  Um... because I don't keep a log of every MLB player's language abilities? The story here is about Dice-K, so I'm trying to keep the conversation to Dice-K out of practical purposes. And you make a good point, maybe he doesn't refuse to learn - maybe he is uncomfortable. I really don't know. But since you brought it up - generally speaking - I do think everyone in America should learn to speak English, especially if you're going to be on the national stage in America. That's not some jingoistic rhetoric - it's in defense of education... to be a smarter and successful global society. The more you know, the more you grow. It sounds simple and cliched, but it's true.

jiggieny
jiggieny

How do you know he "refuses" to learn english? Maybe he's trying to learn and is just not comfortable holding a conversation in english. But honestly I don't see this as an issue at all. Why aren't you upset at all the thousands of other mlb players(past and present) that don't speak a lick of english?

Louder Than Love
Louder Than Love

@jiggieny  It's not irrelevant. The issue is I personally think it's ungracious. He's made a lot of money in this country. My opinion is he should show a little gratitude and common courtesy by learning the English language - if for no other reason than to have a direct conversation with his coaches and teammates, instead of through a third party. What he does off the field and out of the club house is his own business and is of no concern to me. And it works both ways - I'm sure plenty of players and coaches have at least some rudimentary ability to speak Spanish (or they should, at least). Dan Warthen's comment, at face value, was insensitive. No one is debating that. But there's a broader issue, which is - despite having plenty of time and resources - Dice-K refuses to learn how to speak English. Yet in every elementary school in Tokyo, the kids there speak English better than you or I do. So you tell me, what's Dice-K's excuse? You seem content to give him a pass just because he can throw a baseball. I am not so content. 

jiggieny
jiggieny

So again, what is the issue? It seems you're the only person that's worried about dice k learning English. Does his fastball get better by learning some basic grammar? Like you said he's an athlete. He's paid to produce as an athlete. Whatever language he prefers to speak is completely irrelevant.

cbbruuno
cbbruuno

@jiggieny @Chapter 7  The joke was clearly aimed at Warthen's stupidity, not at Asian Americans. There are a ton of ignorant morons who have made comments on this thread, this is not one of them.

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

It was more of a piling on to the mocking of Warthen's ignorance.

jiggieny
jiggieny

@Chapter 7  Just because it's an "old racial stereotype in American pop culture" doesn't mean it's ok.  And yes, it's very offensive to Asians, especially Asian-Americans.