Should MLB players be required to learn English? | The Tylt
Should MLB players be required to learn English?
It might be harsh, but learning English is only way to ensure MLB players can effectively talk to each other on and off the field. Communication is essential for teams to play at peak performance, and if the athletes aren’t speaking the same language, it takes extra time needed to figure out what everyone is saying, and another barrier for teammates to cross.
Speaking a different language can be an obstruction that isolates someone from the rest of the team. If everyone was required to learn English, MLB players would connect and bond quicker than having to speak through a translator. Relying on translators just handicaps a team; real teammates concerned with winning at all costs would take the time to learn the language.
Rejecting talented players based on their native language is heinous. It's not only discriminatory, it’s bad business.
Some of the best players in the league are non-English speaking players. If they were unable to play in MLB because they did not speak English, baseball fans would not have the opportunity to watch them perform. How could a league with the “World Series” as their championship live with itself if they rejected the best players from around the globe?
English isn’t even required to be a great player in MLB. Ichiro Suzuki, one of the greatest hitters in baseball, doesn’t speak English. Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran both have very limited English language skills, and have still led clubhouses to the playoffs. Good players are good players, not because of the language they speak. Language helps, but it is definitely not required to be a good teammate.
As if baseball’s history with diversity wasn't already checkered with racism and discrimination, requiring players to speak English would undermine all the progress the league has made to be more inclusive.