An Italian baseball team’s spoof of a famous scene from the 1989 baseball film “Major League” drew criticism on Tuesday for portrayal of a team member in blackface.
The Crocetta Baseball Club, a team in Parma, Italy, recently filmed a parody of the iconic American Express “commercial” from “Major League.” In the movie, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and the rest of the members of a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians starred in a commercial for the credit card company.
At the end of that commercial, Wesley Snipes, an African-American actor who played leadoff hitter Willie Mays Hayes in the movie, slides into home plate while saying a tagline—“American Express…don’t steal home without it.”
In their spoof of the "Major League" scene, the Crocetta Baseball Club repeats every line in a word-for-word recreation of the original. But, at the end of the video, an Italian baseball player, identified in the credits as “Matte,” imitates Snipes’ slide into home plate while wearing blackface.
The Italian baseball team’s tribute to “Major League” drew immediate criticism from several media outlets. Deadspin declared that the team’s video “gets real racist real fast,” while USA Today's For The Win blog said that Crocetta “[ruined their] tribute to ‘Major League’ with blackface.”
Do you think that the Crocetta Baseball Club’s “Major League” spoof was racist? Sound off in the comment section below.