Doug Glanville had a fairly long MLB career as a player, and has since moved on to a successful career as an analyst and writer. He currently works for ESPN as part of their studio baseball team and as a sports writer for The Atlantic. What he wrote in his most recent article for The Atlantic will shock you. It involves himself shoveling snow in his driveway on a winter day a couple months back, a local police officer and one case of racial profiling:
“A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, ‘So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?'”
The startling incident led Glanville to this conclusion later in his piece:
“In a sense, the shoveling incident was a painful reminder of something I’ve always known: My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear—at least as long as racial profiling continues to be an element of law enforcement. But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.”
So while times have no doubt changed and America is less racist than it ever has been, this story goes to show just how far we still have to go. A man shoveling his own driveway was profiled by a police officer. It wasn’t some moron off the street — it was an official officer of the law. That’s just not right, any way you slice it.