Retired Major League Baseball Player Racially Profiled in His Driveway

Doug Glanville says that as he stood outside his Hartford, Conn., home, a police officer asked, “So, are you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”

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Doug Glanville, then with the Texas Rangers, during the Rangers' spring training Media Day Feb. 26, 2003, in Surprise, Ariz.

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Retired major league baseball player Doug Glanville was hit with a sobering reminder of racial profiling in America one day in February as he stood in the driveway of his Tudor home in Hartford, Conn., shoveling snow, he writes in a poignant piece at The Atlantic.

See, his neighbor, an empty-nester in his late 60s with a replaced hip, had always beaten the 40-something former ballplayer to the task, and a midafternoon snowfall had given him a chance to return the favor, he writes. As he rolled the plan over in his mind, that’s when he says a police officer from the neighboring community of West Hartford approached him, he writes:

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?”

It would have been all too easy to play the “Do you know who I am?” game. My late father was an immigrant from Trinidad who enrolled at Howard University at age 31 and went on to become a psychiatrist. My mother was an important education reformer from the South. I graduated from an Ivy League school with an engineering degree, only to get selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. I went on to play professionally for nearly 15 years, retiring into business then going on to write a book and a column for The New York Times. Today, I work at ESPN in another American dream job that lets me file my taxes under the description “baseball analyst.”

But I didn't mention any of this to the officer. I tried to take his question at face value, explaining that the Old Tudor house behind me was my own [...] After a few minutes, he headed back to his vehicle. He offered no apology, just an empty encouragement to enjoy my shoveling. And then he was gone.

Read more at The Atlantic.