After criticism over his lightening skin tone over the years, ex-Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa is addressing the blowback.
While speaking to Sports Illustrated, retired Sosa, who also played for the Houston Texans for a time, indicated he couldn’t care less about the disses about going from a dark-skinned baseballer from the Dominican Republic to a pale-skinned international businessman.
“Look at what I am today,” he said in the Wednesday, June 27 article. “This is my life, and I don’t take garbage from nobody. I do whatever I want.”
Last year, Sosa’s skin color became a prominent topic of conversation again when he appeared on an ESPN Deportes special looking so pale he was pink. Immediately, wise-cracks punctuated the interwebs.
“Sammy Sosa out here lookin’ like Pepto Bismal.”
“Sammy Sosa look like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.”
“Ayo, Sammy Sosa look like [an] unbrushed tongue.”
His son, Junior, said he doesn’t tell his former MLB star dad what folks say about him online.
“It doesn’t affect him, but I’m sure he feels a certain way,” Junior says. “Like, ‘Man, I gave so many years and so much hard work for you guys, and now you want to undermine all that because of some decisions I’m making — some personal decisions that don’t affect you at all?’”
Sosa has explained his lightened skin before. In 2009, he said his changed skin color was a side effect of a cream he uses to soften his skin.
“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin tone,” Sosa told Univision’s “Primer Impacto.” “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but [it] has bleached me some.
“I’m not a racist, I live my life happily,” he added denouncing claims he wasn’t a fan of his darkness. “What happened was that I had been using the cream for a long time and that, combined with the bright TV lights, made my face look whiter than it really is. I don’t think I look like Michael Jackson.”