In a profile of Bryce Harper for the Aug. 1 issue of Sports Illustrated, two Washington Nationals officials compared the plight of their best prospect to that of Jackie Robinson.
My colleague Nathan Fenno addressed the topic earlier today here.
Nationals Director of Player Development Doug Harris, one of the officials quoted in the article, released a statement this evening on his regret for the comparison of the Nationals phenom to someone with the legacy and impact on the game — and on history — of Robinson.
Here’s his statement:
“I’d like to clarify my remarks as they appear in Tom Verducci’s recent Sports Illustrated feature story on Bryce Harper. In talking to Tom, my sole intent was to speak to the scrutiny that Harper faces on a daily basis.
“That said, the hardships that Mr. Robinson endured in/around 1947 were unique and historical in context. While Harper’s current situation is extraordinary by most measures, it pales in comparison to the life of Mr. Robinson, nor will it approach the lasting impact. I regret making this ill-fated correlation.”