Tony La Russa recognizes there are issues that affect the black community in the United States, but disagrees with Adam Jones, who said Major League Baseball is a "white man's sport."
"When he says it's a white, like elitist, kind of sport, I mean how much wronger can he be? We have tried so hard, the MLB, to expand the black athletes' opportunity," said La Russa, who spent two years working directly for Major League Baseball. "We want the black athletes to pick not basketball or football, but want them to play baseball; they should play baseball. And we're working to make that happen in the inner cities. We have a lot of Latin players. We have players from the Pacific Rim."
Only 8 percent of the league classifies as African-American. A total of just 69 black players were on the Opening Day rosters of the league's 30 teams.
La Russa agreed that there is an issue but said effort is being made.
"It's very difficult in the inner cities to get black athletes to play the game," La Russa said. "So what [MLB is doing is] expanding the opportunity so the black athlete gets a chance."