A few days after comedian Chris Rock offered his take on baseball's decline in black and, by extension, youth culture on HBO's "Real Sports," White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas offered a response -- and how that decline can be reversed.
Thomas, who said he met Rock in the early 1990's, addressed the subject on Fox Sports 1's "America's Pregame" on Thursday.
"I think he hit the nail on the head," Thomas said. "I came into the league in 1990 and there were four or five black players on every team. And throughout the late 90's and early 2000's you saw it dwindle every year. Now, each team barely has one black player.
"It's very interesting. I think Chris hit it right, he's a very true baseball guy. ... He knows his baseball. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, especially where the economics are in baseball."
So what's the solution?
"It's simple. Major League Baseball has gotta take initiative and put academies in the inner cities across America," Thomas said, adding that there are plenty of former black players who could head up these academies. "We're doing it in the Dominican Republic, we're doing it in Venezuela, as soon as Cuba opens they're going to do it in Cuba because these kids play baseball 24/7. If we get something in the inner city that the kids don't have to pay for cleats, baseballs, bats, the black kids -- we will play."