October 30, 2014

Arizona’s Robert Refsnyder decides S.C. isn’t totally racist afterall

Robert Refsnyder took offense to some racist jeers in Omaha.

After some more thought, Arizona right fielder and 2012 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Robert Refsnyder has decided maybe the entire state of South Carolina isn’t racist.

 Refsnyder was  understandably offended by heckling he said clearly crossed the line during the Wildcats games against USC at TD Ameritrade Stadium.

You see, Refsnyder was born in South Korea. Those parents you saw ten thousand times during the ESPN broadcast this week actually adopted him when he was only three months old. It is a great story and by all accounts Refsnyder and his family are good people.

Unfortunately, not everyone out there is good people. According to Refsnyder, fans were not only making fun of his race, but also making death threats against his parents.

It goes without saying Refsnyder didn’t find racial slurs and death threats within the boundaries of good-natured heckling and took to Twitter to express his displeasure. Here are some of the tweets from his feed, @robrefsnyder.

“I will never live in South Carolina because they can’t accept Asians playing baseball,”

When people make death threats to my family and myself for being a certain color or race…caused some animosity

Haha man people are racist, wish you could have heard the things people were yelling at me tonight and the messages ive received! #forgive”

USC fans were quick to respond, and most of them politely telling Refsnyder not to judge the entire state based on a few jacklegs in the right field bleachers in Omaha. No word on if Governor Nikki Haley called to say, “It’s a great day in South Carolina for Korean and non Korean baseball players alike!”

Whatever the case, Refsnyder realized he had probably not reacted in the best way and ended up deleting the tweet  and apologized for posting it.

Poor judgement on my part I apologize, nothing but respect for south carolina and ray tanner

Another reason Refsnyder might have changed his tune is the fact he was drafted in the 5th round of this month’s MLB draft by the Yankees. The Yankees Class A affiliate is the Riverdogs, located in Charleston, South Carolina. So that means there’s a good chance he’s going to be spending some time in the Palmetto State soon.

Even after the little Twitter blowup, Refsnyder still looks like he’s going to be getting the good old-fashioned southern hospitality for which our state is known.  Here’s what one fan tweeted:

Congrats on the NC win. You are a NYY draftee and if you end up in Charleston and we will show you how great the state of SC.


Comments

  1. Hey, he was adopted??? Those were his parents??? They drove 22hrs, then 2200 miles one way??? Pankake ate pancakes at IHOP on National Pancake Day??? Ariz. pitchers throw complete games??? Tanner English has speed??? WHO KNEW!?!? Like listening to a broken record.

  2. Wow, Refsnyder – I’m sorry that we live in a society where you need to make an apology for someone els’e racism. They were the perpetrators, not you – and I’m sorry that you were met with resistance when you attempted to point this out. Until Asian Americans hold strong to their convictions, people will continue to mess with them. Racism is wrong – Period, and no one should have to take it.

  3. South Carolina fans are racist? I’m deeply shocked by this revelation!

  4. Jesse L Helms says:

    I don’t post much to these sites, as I’m not predisposed to much social media. However, I feel compeled to respond here. I am a 1982 graduate of the University of South Carolina and thankful for the education that I received. I cheer for the Gamecocks as much as anyone else during game time of any sport. If I learned anything from my education its that life demands much of our time and we need to intelligently use it. I also hope that I learned some decorum and civility.
    Robert Refsnyder is one of the classiest and talented athletes that I’ve had the pleasure to watch. This young man has overcome a host of obstacles that would have side-tracked many of his peers. That we have, in our fan base, people that have no more self-respect or couth than to denigrate Refsnyder or anyother athlete over race, origin, or whatever is deplorable. More times than not, I’ve found that people that have never been to Carolina as a student, can be our most obnoxious fans. This applies to our upstate neighbor as well. They have their share of wannabe fans. True fans are passionate, but respectful of our University’s reputation and others. Let’s seek to do the right thing at our athletic events and insure that our opponents leave with respect for our team and fans. For those “fans” that don’t get it…stay home or join the Army or Marine Corps and man-up to a real war.

  5. I find it telling that the fans tweeting him were apparently more concerned with being called racists than, you know, actual racism. THE HORROR.

  6. Fernando Zepeda says:

    I am hispanic and I come from the same place that this young man comes from. I came to south carolina in 1986 and it was a shock to me. But, as I continue to live in this state I continue to appreciate the people from here. Remember, racism is everywhere! California and Arizona are not shielded from this hatred. I was living in Lompoc CA and I found it there. Before you spout about south carolinians being racists remember what all the hispanics, asian americans and african americans going through in California and Arizona. I have lived in both states and they are not innocent from racism. I really hope this kid has a great career and if he goes to charleston, he has a gre4at experience there.

  7. I was at the game and found the comments made by these fans horrible. Not only were they making remarks about this young mans race but making death threats to his parents. I do not know if they were from Carolina or not but they had Gamecock shirts on. I actually moved away from them because it was making me feel sick that people could be so mean to someone over a game in which this young man has played extremely well. With that said I was also upset to see that people went after him when he tweed his commit. He is so proud of his parents that he made those commits because he was upset at rightfully so. But he also apologize to Caroline showing he is by far the better man then those making the comments. I as a Gamecock fan feel we owe him apology. What a outstanding young man and I wish him the best. Congratulations to the Wildcats.

  8. Keep your head up Refsnyder. You should not apologize for racism. As soon as a minority is cast into a negative light, the majority has no qualms but to paint a broad brush and assume all Asians, Blacks, etc are all the same. I applaud you for standing up, but your apology to South Carolina was not needed. The fact that nobody in the stands confronted these racists confirms that deep rooted bigotry and racism is alive and well in South Carolina and at the university. The only remedy for change is confrontation and revolution; never back down and always engage. Do you think this racial taunting would have been condoned if it happened to A black player? Confront racism, subtle or overt, head on. Sometimes violence is the only means to quell ignorance and hatred.

  9. Almost as bad as the classless, uneducated hecklers are the people in the stands not doing anything about it. Where’d their decency go? Alert security, do something. Don’t just sit there and go with the flow.

  10. CornelledBeef says:

    Quote: “USC fans were quick to respond, and most of them politely telling Refsnyder…”

    Not true. USC message boards were blowing up with racist remarks and threats directed against Refsnyder and his family. Sure, a few fans felt embarrassed and apologized to him and the Arizona fanbase for the racist morons among them. However, Refsnyder didn’t have to apologize to anyone since and his parents were the ones being verbally attacked and threatened, not only on the Internet but also in Omaha.

    A little sample of South Carolina’s hospitality:
    http://tinyurl.com/732ekpn
    http://tinyurl.com/6tplpyj
    http://tinyurl.com/7tjbe86
    http://tinyurl.com/7589bou
    http://tinyurl.com/7mjq7cy

  11. Thesassyuscfan says:

    @Taylor, If you were so sickened by the comments being made, why didn’t you say something to them? Maybe a simple “Hey man, that is out of line, lets show some class” would have helped the situation. By ignoring the problem, you are part of the problem. Heckeling in one thing. Threats and ignorance are another.
    I am a Carolina fan, have been my whole life. If I see an obnoxious fan I call them on it. We have to stand together as part of the Gamecock nation and make all oposing fans know that we are the best fans in the country.

  12. Cocky Mike says:

    TD Ameritrade holds 25,000 people. It was full, and Resnyder gets heckled and was able to say without hesitation that the person who called him racial slurs was:
    A.) A Gamecock fan
    B.) A Gamecock fan that lives in South Carolina

    Tell me how the hell he’s supposed to be able to pick out the ONE fan that cracked on him? Even if the guy had on a USC shirt, it doesn’t mean he’s from SC by any means, but this assclown decides that everybody here is now a racist. Well, I hate to tell you son, but if you think hecklers are bad in Omaha, wait till you get to New York.
    .
    Am I the only person that’s sick and tired of every whining idiot who uses the race card because he got his feelings hurt.

  13. AsianMan says:

    The difference between racism in South Carolina (or Nebraska for that matter) and that in California or any of the Western states is that if someone were heckling it in public, he would experience a serious beat-down by the rest of the fans.

    In SC or Nebraska, apparently it’s embarassing but nothing worthwhile to stand up and confront while it’s happening. I wonder why? Maybe because it’s too common?

  14. the reason robert refsnyder said sc isnt racist after all is because when he said he would never live in sc he received death threats against his family. sc and the deep south is as racist as they come

  15. i remember every racist pledge we blackballed in college were white and fled to the citadel, that racist bastion of the white tribe.

  16. Cameron says:

    Keep your head up Refsnyder. You should not apologize for racism. As soon as a minority is cast into a negative light, the majority has no qualms but to paint a broad brush and assume all Asians, Blacks, etc are all the same. I applaud you for standing up, but your apology to South Carolina was not needed. The fact that nobody in the stands confronted these racists confirms that deep rooted bigotry and racism is alive and well in South Carolina and at the university. The only remedy for change is confrontation and revolution; never back down and always engage. Do you think this racial taunting would have been condoned if it happened to A black player? Confront racism, subtle or overt, head on. Sometimes violence is the only means to quell ignorance and hatred.

  17. I did ask them to stop more than a couple of times. In fact several people told them that it was on called for and makes the gamecocks fans look bad. I even said that I have two small children here who do not need to hear such trash talk. As a 45 year old women these so called fans could care less what I had to said. When the children and I left we went straight to the guard working that section at let him know what was happening. He said I was the second person to complain and he was going to look into it as well as fine us new seats. So I do not think I was part of the problem. I tried to get it to stop but was unable to by myself. I do not know if those fans were ask to stop or even leave the game because I had moved to another section to finish watching the game.