Bonds on racism: 'It ain't changing'

Updated: June 19, 2004, 12:11 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Barry Bonds is open to ending his career in the American League as a designated hitter -- just not in Boston.

The Boston Globe reported in Friday's editions that Bonds said the town was "too racist for me" and that he would "never play there."

According to the report, Bonds is relying on word of mouth for his opinion.

"[My impression is based] only [on] what guys have said," he told the paper, "but that's been going on ever since my dad [Bobby, who played 14 years in the majors] was playing baseball. I can't play like that. That's not for me, brother."

Bonds went on to dispute a suggestion that Boston's racial climate was improving, saying "It ain't changing. It ain't changing nowhere."

Giants general manager Brian Sabean, speaking with ESPN Radio on Friday night, didn't seem troubled by his star's latest comments.

"I don't know how and when and what the context was that he put them out their to quote the way he did," Sabean said. "But that's really not my business. This is a country of free speech, and again, I don't know the context.

"If those are his feelings, those are his feelings. He's the guy that has to live with what he says and what he does, and we all know you're in charge of your own responsibility to say and do the right thing but I don't think it was anything malicious from being on the outside looking in. And again, I don't take this to any degree. I take it with a grain of salt."