Putting aside the steroid allegations that’ll probably keep Dominican power hitter Sammy Sosa from the Baseball Hall of Fame, Sosa at one point was America’s loveable Home Run hitter on one of this country’s most loveable teams, the Chicago Cubs.
In the late 90s/Early 00s his home run duels with Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds --during what baseball fans now accept as the steroid era of Major League Baseball-- captured America’s heart and garnered him support among Latinos all across the world.
But in 2009, a few years after begrudgingly retiring from Baseball, Sosa made an appearance at the Latin Grammy Awards. People took notice because suddenly his darker more Afro-Latino skin complexion (that never seemed like an issue before) was replaced by a bright unnatural white glow and complexion that startled fans and detractors alike.
In 2010 the New York Post reported that Sosa was back to his more natural complexion but the question was already raised…Is Sammy Sosa ashamed of his skin color and Afro-Latino heritage?
Fast forward to 2012 and a recent barrage of photos on sports blogs via a Spanish newspaper that show Sosa attending some sort of baseball event looking whiter and brighter than ever.
In 2009, he explained to Univision that the reason he was whiter was that his moisturizer was bleaching his skin.
I don’t think that’s what moisturizer is supposed to do, unless that’s what you want it to do.
One’s things for sure Sosa is back to bleaching his skin and not only does it look like he got in a flour fight in the kitchen but it sets a bad example to young Latinos who see their hero ashamed of looking the way he was meant to look like.
In Latin America Sosa is a hero and there are young ballplayers and fans that grew up like he did and see his battle with his complexion as a sign that lighter is better.
Sammy Sosa's internal struggle with his complexion is similar to what Michael Jackson's battle evolved into with African-American fans in America. Was he ashamed of being black?
Upon Michael Jackson's death many in the black community overlooked the confusion that raised questions for years and eulogized him as an African-American man with no mention of his racial confusion.
For Sammy Sosa while he hasn’t really addressed it we know one thing for sure… the dude went from dark brown to near transparent white in a period of years.
Sammy Sosa has a racial identity problem and his transformation to a lighter Latino sends a bad message to those Afro-Latinos that look up to him.
I guess the sad lesson we can learn from this is that even becoming a baseball superstar with lots of money doesn’t always help someone deal with their own insecurities.