Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14


David Cone may have some racial sensitivity classes in his future after a comment he made on Tuesday.


The former Cy Young Award winner and current Yankees TV analyst for YES Network referred to outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s bat as a “chopstick” on the telecast during the Yankees-Red Sox game.


“Probably a ball, but Suzuki with the chopstick,” Cone said while watching a replay of Ichiro’s at-bat.


Suzuki reached for an outside pitch and grounded a ball to the shortstop in the 11th inning. The Yankees won 4-3 in the 12th, but Cone’s remark stood out.


Just because Suzuki is Japanese we should call his bat a chopstick? As we learned from Ben & Jerry’s which received backlash for putting fortune cookie pieces in a Jeremy Lin-themed ice cream flavor, it’s best to avoid stereotypes and cultural associations. Someone will probably remind Cone about that.


H/T Jimmy Traina
Video via @CJZero

54 Comments:
  • I was watching when Cone made the comment. Yes, it stood out and surprised me but there's no way it was a racist comment. Ichiro kinda chopped at a poor pitch and hit a chopper type groundball and cone seemed to get the word ,Chop< in his head and said chopstick. I thought Cone stopped talking, abruptly, as soon as he said it and realized he should have chosen a differnt way of describing the play. No big deal. Relax. I'm ichiro is not bothered by it.
  • let's have some fun. wher's the cinch? LOL LOL
  • wher' the chopstik
  • I too was watching it, and my first thought was what an appropriate description of Ichiro's swing. If wasn't until a few minutes later, that I made the connection of who was swinging the chopstick. 10 minutes laughter, after I stopped laughing, I wondered what Ichiro would say when questioned about it. I'm guessing his response will be "What else would you call it?" BUT I will add this, YES needs to get rid of cone, not for what the comment was or implied, but because he speaks to hear himself. Of all the comments he made in last night's game, "chopstick" was the on that made the most sense.
  • Are you kidding me?
  • no no me so horn e
  • wite guy eating cracker. crac er head
  • brown guy with his bak to me and wet?? wet bak
  • oriental guy chopping his stick?
    chopstick? LOL LOL LOL
  • No way it was racist. As the comment above outlined, Ichiro chopped at the pitch with a really defensive swing and his bat is quite the long stick. I actually giggled when I heard the line-thought it quite clever actually. we have to get a life in this country-people have gotten way too sensitive. No way this was demeaning in any sense of teh word.
  • me luv yu lon time
  • Totally agree, country way to sensitive.
  • The minute David Cone used that term I knew I would be reading about it today. I thought it was a perfect description of the at bat because Ichiro did just "chop" at the ball to put wood on it and don't feel it had any racist intent at all.
  • waiter, bill please.
    Hey this isn't my chik fol A cinh conh receipt?
  • When a routine comment during a play-by-play narrative suddenly becomes "racist", especially when it was in context, then the PC pendulum has swung waaaay too far off center. You've GOT to be kidding.
  • Amen
  • Lots of so called " experts " need to get a real life it was an
    off the cuff remark, not racist in any way shape or form. Stop trying to create news/events and just report the news/events.
  • I see nothing racist about the comment. I see an analyst attempting to create a new moniker for a bat that Ichiro uses. I agree he used the term "chopstick" in reference to the bat because Ichiro is Japanese, but not in a derogatory manner or intent.
    To the Japanese a chopstick is a tool. A tool that is respected for its purpose. The chopstick, along with the table setting, the food,who is served first, how they are served, all play a part in the meal equally. Because they are all required, they are all valued. And as such, the way you use the chopstick can be a sign of disrespect to your host. The chopstick to the Japanese is vastly different than a fork to an American.
    Therefore, referring to Ichiro's bat as a chopstick is just a reference to the tool he brings to the table. Being from different cultures makes it difficult for some to understand this so we're quick to jump on the PC wagon and start accusing people of racism. The reality of it is that in the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) the sportscasters will refer to the top hitters' bats as chopsticks.
    P.S. Hyozaemon's, a Japanese chopstick company makes some of their finest chopsticks from the roughly 20,000 bats they get from the pros each year.
  • I facts in your comment are accurate. However I doubt Cone knew or had a clue about any of this. While there was no malicious intent it still may be construed as racist. People in the public eye or on radio or TV need to think before they speak. Not the worst comment ever made by a professional but a gaffe none the less.
  • Who cares. All of this politically **** has gone too far.
  • I hear nothing racist about Cones comment on the at bat. I thought it was a perfect description of him chopping at the ball like he always has. Get a life, seems like everyone is just looking for the moment.
  • Everyone's so easily "offended" these days. I'm truly offended
    because everyone's so easily "offended." Get over it. The "offended" should keep their emotional instability to themselves. Good Lord!
  • this is the world Obama has helped create. The term racist is racist because some handicapped people can't race...and have u ever noticed that the text here is black??? why is that?? I'm sure it has to do with the white, selfish 1 percenters not paying their fair share, corporate greed, wallstreet, the greedy bankers, and something to do with "stay out the Bushes" shovel ready, hope and change, teabagers, and the woman hating right...yuop, it jus has to. Wow have we've gotten stupid in the last 4 years...
  • Seriously? "Obama helped create?" You are the only one who has "gotten stupid." However, it would appear that you always have been.
  • Nedbrett, "this is the world Obama created" This post has nothing to do with Obama and racist flags for racists comments in the sports world have existed forever, long before Obama. This country was built by slaves, Obama didn't do that. There was no need to bring Obama into it. This is a sports blog.
  • Racist??? It was a clever play upon words. Some jerks think they have to find something to whine about. Get a life!!!
  • racist bone head
  • I meant cone head
  • more like cone head making bonehead comments and get paid for living.
    Boy, would I luv to do that, get paid making racist comment.
  • Somebody please tell me how this is racist. The guy is Japanese and uses chopsticks...it's as natural to him as Americans using knives and forks....wait...was that a racist comment? I mean what if a Japanese guy said, "Stick a FORK in him...he's done". Would that be racist? Why are we all just sitting around waiting to be victims. I mean, this guy is a future hall of famer. If he could be "disenfranchised" by a comment like that, would he actually be a the player he is?

    Racist? Pah-leeeeeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Hardly racist - I'm sure that Coney was characterizing Ichiro's bat in a humorous way as it is known that he uses the smallest diameter bat in MLB
  • I was watching the game and actually heard the comment made by Cone . As soon as I heard it I immediately raised my eyebrows and smirked . I don't think he made it to be a racist comment but maybe could've chosen a better analogy . Cone even seemed to be a little silent probably realizing he may have made a verbal blunder . This black man knows racism when he here's it and this wasn't it . Go YANKEES !!!
  • I don't like David Cone, but I agree that there was nothing racist about his comment, some people need to find real stuff to write about, like the pennant races for example.
  • Wow. Suddenly everything, every issue, even in sports, can be traced back to one guy you never heard of 8 years ago.

    Yeah. Right. We all need to be set straight on this.

    oops. I said the word 'straight'.
  • comment below viewing threshold

    show comment

  • Now this is a perfect example of a racists comment.
  • It's racist if he has never said that about anyone else who has "chopped" at a ball before, and since he hasn't (or has he?) then why say it about Ichiro who happens to be Asian? That's how latent racism works, you don't know you have it until it slips out in an innocuous way like this. His intent doesn't have to necessarily be bad to be racist. He thinks of Ichiro as not just a ballplayer, but an Asian ballplayer. Hence the use of a term that hasn't come out of his mouth when a white, african-american, or latino player does the same thing. You'll never be free of racism until you recognize that it's there.
  • It's a stereotype. He ain't making a negative comment about Ichiro. Get the stick out of your PR correct corporate trained mind. Corporate and law america has made everything literally right or wrong

    I'm Asian, I see nothing wrong about the comment and if anything it's colorful.
  • It's a stereotype that only bats by Asian ballplayers can be "chopsticks?" You do realize that the willingness to stereotype is the root of racism? We are all racists and the sooner we accept it the sooner we can begin to eradicate it. I don't think he was being mean, but he was being racist. He needs to examine his "tendencies" and move forward from there. No hate necessary, but awareness is always good.
  • please, i know it was a slow sports news day, but really. do you not have any thing else to write than trying to create a racist remark out of this. sportswriters, get a life and a clue .....
  • From the looks of comments, the media are creating the problems.
  • Let's take all the PC police and drown them in some ocean somewhere. How stupid.
  • America has gotten so PR and sensitive they forgot what's a stereotype vs racism.

    I'm asian and eat with chopsticks, nothing racists about that comment. It's a simple stereotype by color commentary. He ain't hating on Ichiro, just admiring how delicately he uses the bat like a chopstick.

  • Hey asian boy,
    i'll be bak with yir cin chon receipt.
  • Apparently now any word relating to a person's culture is "racist". Wow. It wasn't insulting his culture or race, so how would it be racist?
  • Heaven forbid he said something like "he speared at it" if the player were African-American. It would be a different ballgame.
  • It was far from a racist comment..and I think your a moron for even writing a story about it, just to create a story...Really..
    You obiviously don't follow baseball enough to realize the type swing and hit Ichiro had... Again your a moron!
  • Lets give everybody a skirt and ear plugs...because there so worried about what somebody said or say's... MORON!
  • Moron!
  • Absolutely absurd. Are you guys so desperate to show whites as being racist that your willing to turn our lives upside down over nothing??? Get a life.
  • Racist!!! Next thing you know Cone will be caught in the dugout playing with himself.
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