Padres pitcher says foreign players who 'make our American dollars' need to respect the game

San Diego Padres pitcher Bud Norris was quoted in a USA Today article about the cross-cultural underpinnings of bench-clearing brawls, and what he had to say about foreign players wasn’t great.

The article itself takes a deep dive into how the different styles of play from players from different cultures often goes against baseball’s “unwritten rules,” which in turn often leads to bench-clearing incidents. It’s similar to an old NY Times piece during the 2013 World Baseball Classic that addressed the Dominican Republic’s enthusiasm and how that frustrated some American players who felt it disrespected the sport.

The piece in USA Today centres around a stat about bench-clearing brawls: according to a study that looked at 67 bench-clearing incidents, 87% were sparked between players from different cultures. Norris sounded un-surprised by the findings, and had this to say:

“This is America’s game. This is America’s pastime, and over the last 10-15 years we’ve seen a very big world influence in this game, which we as a union and as players appreciate. We’re opening this game to everyone that can play. However, if you’re going to come into our country and make our American dollars, you need to respect a game that has been here for over a hundred years, and I think sometimes that can be misconstrued. There are some players that have antics, that have done things over the years that we don’t necessarily agree with.”

“I understand you want to say it’s a cultural thing or an upbringing thing. But by the time you get to the big leagues, you better have a pretty good understanding of what this league is and how long it’s been around.”

As many have been quick to point out, baseball has been played in Japan and parts of Latin America for just as long as it has in the U.S.

We’ve reached out to Norris and the Padres for comment.

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