GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox manager Robin Ventura is not a fan of social media. He doesn’t have a twitter account, although it’s something the Sox have encouraged him to do.
Of course, they know Ventura would steer clear of sensitive topics such as race, politics or religion that could cause a firestorm. Center fielder Adam Eaton commented on Chris Rock’s Academy Awards monologue Sunday night, and found himself apologizing the very next morning Monday.
“For me, anytime you get on twitter you’re going to get some backlash, I don’t care what you say,’’ Ventura said. “I prefer they [players] staff off of it.’’
Ventura said he’s encouraged players to steer clear social media, seeing, for athletes, mostly bad and little good coming from it.
“Yeah, I do,’’ said Ventura, a father of four young adult and teenage children. “The young kids these days, the young kids. To me it just never goes well, I don’t care what you say. So it’s just better to stay off it.’’
Eaton said he “felt terrible” about a comment on Twitter, “What does it always have to be about black and white…? #American’’, a tweet he late removed from his Twitter feed. Rock’s monologue brought the prevalence of white nominees to the forefront, and Eaton said he “by no means necessary or any stretch of the imagination was I implying anything besides of let’s all be created equal.”
Eaton’s critics said his comment was tone deaf to a deep, complicated and sensitive subject. Eaton said it was misunderstood.
“I enjoy everyone’s company,’’ Eaton said. “In my baseball world, we have equality. I feel like everybody in this room I respect and love and everyone has an opportunity.
“Again in that sense I am ignorant. But like I said, I feel terrible. I really feel awful.”
With blacks, whites and Latinos blended together in the Sox clubhouse, Ventura said players weighing in on race could have an adverse affect on the team bond.
“Potentially it could. If he truly intended it to be hurtful, probably,’’ Ventura said. “I don’t think that was the case with him.’’
Eaton said he talked to teammates and there was no backlash. All of them understood where he was coming from, he said.
“I should have not even went into that realm,” Eaton said. “But at the same time, I believe what I said. Equality is the answer. Black and white, it doesn’t matter. Purple, orange green, it doesn’t matter. We should all be created equal and we all should be pushing in the same direction.
“So again, my wording was poor and left open ended, but my message that I intended to say was truthful and honest and like I said, if you go and look on my Twitter now, for the next five or six messages, I was just reaffirming that I love everybody.”
Eaton, one of the more active Sox on Twitter, has used it “as a positive’ tool to encourage and promote charities, among other things.
“With that being said, I’ve now experienced what it can be to be seen on the opposite end. Some quote that I intended to be a positive thing has turned into a negative thing and for that, I’m sorry.’’