Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said Wednesday that a Boston Globe column questioning whether his strong start to the season has been aided by performance-enhancing drugs is ethnically discriminatory.
"What is the point of criticizing someone who is working hard and trying to do it right?" Ortiz told an ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate in the Dominican Republic, reacting to the column by Dan Shaughnessy of the Globe.
The column casts Ortiz as suspect of cheating because he's hitting well at his age (37), has suffered an injury (Achilles tendon) consistent with steroid use and is from the Dominican Republic, where a number of players have tested positive for PEDs.
"Yesterday, the guy came to see me and asked some questions about steroids, and when you see the writing, it basically focuses on the fact that I'm Dominican and that many Dominicans have been caught using steroids. And what about the Americans?" Ortiz said.
"If you're from the Middle East, because there are some people there who put bombs and terrorize civilians, I have to see you like that, as well? If you are a white American, I have to call you a racist because white Americans were in the Ku Klux Klan?
"The thing that stung me was his statement about Dominicans. You mean that in Dominican Republic there are no players who try to do things right? We are all in the same boat. And the people here who have been caught, does that put everyone here in the same boat?"
Ortiz shared his thoughts in a recorded conversation for the "Grandes en los Deportes" ("Big in Sports") talk show.
"I have spent many years in Boston and still do not know the right way to do things: Do it right or do it wrong," Ortiz said. "If you do it wrong, they'll finish you. If you're doing well, they'll finish you, too. There's no area where you feel safe."
CLICK HERE to listen to a podcast from ESPN Radio's Ryen Russillo, who weighs in on the latest accusations surrounding Ortiz and says although Ortiz's performance has defied age, it's unfortunate that suspicions always come up no matter what player is having a good season.