Chicago native “Chance the Rapper” tossed out the first pitch on Friday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field as part of the Opening Day festivities, for the Chicago White Sox and his new relationship with the franchise as an “Ambassador”, a paid position by the White Sox in an effort to reach the youth fan base.
At first thought, the news didn’t mean anything to me mostly because I had no idea who he was before his snowy first pitch this weekend. But after taking the weekend to look into just who Chance the Rapper was, and what he was all about, I was a bit perturbed about the White Sox decision to enlist his help to reach the the youth audience. In case you aren’t familiar with Chance the Rapper, here’s just some of what I found when listening to his music this weekend.
Chance the Rapper’s real name is Chancelor Bennett, a twenty-two year old musician from the Chatam neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, and he pens lyrics like the following:
“Shawty, she got the body, she dip the Molly, probably gon’ do the squaddy, right after papi…”
In which he refers to a woman, doing illegal drugs, and then having sexual intercourse with multiple men. That’s the opening lyrics to the song “Thotty” (A slang word for provocative women). Here’s another lyric from the same song:
“I’m sorry Mrs. Jackson, oooh, but your daughter do d—s, wouldn’t be my old b—h if she did new tricks,…”
Chance the Rapper is telling a mother, about some not so “youth” things that a young woman does to him.
He has lots of other music, all reciting the same things: The promotion of the use of illegal drugs, degradation of women, and profound use of racially insensitive jargon.
So what was going through Jerry Reinsdorf’s mind when he signed off on this partnership? Is this what adult fans of the franchise or otherwise want associated with the White Sox? I certainly for one beleive otherwise. Before everyone gets all riled up, take a minute and consider a few things. First and foremost, I don’t have any personal issue with Chancelor Bennett, his music, or anything else relating to him as a person. I don’t personally know him, he could very well be a nice person, expressing his freedom of expression through music. I also have nothing against any specific music genre, including rap or hip hop.
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Regardless of my views, his view, and even your views, I have just one major concern with this partnership. I am a father of two small children. I have a six year old son, as well as a three year old daughter. Both of my children are young Sox fans, learning the game of baseball. They’re White Sox Kids Club members, they attend multiple games per season, they watch them on TV with me at home, etc.
I don’t want my kids associating those types of expressions with the White Sox in any way.
Sure the White Sox are probably aiming at a demographic a little bit older than my children in particular, but none the less I still feel the same.
I’m sure this article is going to ruffle a few feathers at the minimum, and that’s alright because just like Chance the Rapper, and just like every reader, I have the same right to expression my opinion as well. Again I want to stress though, that my only issue with the entire matter, is the message being sent by the White Sox.
A professional baseball franchise partnering with someone, who promotes the things such as the glorification of drug use, degradation of women, and the use of racially insensitive jargon? The decision to use this partnership to reach the next generation of young White Sox fans was at best, a major lapse in judgment, and at worst a very poor message being conveyed to the youth, that the White Sox are condoning such lyrics.
I have no personal issue with Chance, he has every right to express his thoughts through his music whether I agree with them or not, but I firmly beleive he should not be enlisted to be an Ambassador of the Chicago White Sox, due to the messages he expresses not being suitable for the youth, the exact demographic that he was enlisted to reach.