Cubs Brass Fuming Over Milton Bradley Race Story

T.he Cubs are mad at the Sun-Times over yesterday's race story, but why?

Yesterday, the subject of Milton Bradley, race, and Chicago Cubs fans made the rounds. It started at the Chicago Sun-Times, where Cubs reporter Gordon Wittenmyer asked whether Bradley would be able to handle racist taunts from Cubs fans if (read: when) they happened.

We responded by asking why Bradley should have to put up with racism in the first place. The onus is on the fans to, you know, not say racist stuff; if they can't handle it, it's on the Cubs to boot the offenders as soon as possible.

Apparently the Cubs aren't too keen on all this racism talk. Team brass is "incensed" at the Sun-Times, according to ESPN's Bruce Levine:

One management source told me that newspaper officials were contacted by the team, which complained that this type of article without an incident attached to it is negative for the sake of being negative and could provoke responses to a problem that doesn't currently exist.

My sources told me before Bradley was signed that he was challenged about the issue during conversations with the team. Bradley told me in spring training that fan taunts are a part of the game and that he could deal with any comments aimed at him from the stands.

In fairness, the Cubs have done a lot to keep their park racism-free. They boot out people who say racist things. They disallowed the sale of the Kosuke Fukudome "Horry Kow" t-shirts, even if vendors kept selling them outside the park anyway. They deserve credit for at least making a noticeable effort to curb this sort of behavior.

Our anger over theoretical racism isn't necessarily directed at the team. It's directed at the morons who say racist things. It's also directed at the people who laugh at such things, or who sit idly by and let it happen. It's not right. If it happens, it should stop. Asking the question is fair.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

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