For any baseball fan, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente are some of the most iconic names in the sport. But if you’re a child in Duval County in Florida, apparently you won’t be able to read about them in school thanks to a recent book ban.
As The Intellectualist points out on Twitter, Duval County has banned two children’s books on baseball legends Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente – Henry Aaron’s Dream by Matt Tavares and Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter.
— The Intellectualist (@highbrow_nobrow) February 7, 2023
Tavares, the author of the banned book Henry Aaron’s Dream, responded to the news, revealing that he was given no specific reason for the book ban but speculated that it was purely because it mentioned racism.
“Sadly, yes. No specific reason has been given, but they seem to be removing any books that acknowledge that racism exists. They probably also don’t like the fact that the book mentions the racism that Henry Aaron encountered when he played for Jacksonville in 1953,” Tavares said in a tweet.
Tavares also addressed the banning of the book Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a book that he did not write but has also been banned in Florida.
“This one is also banned. I just re-read it. There’s a tiny bit about racism, but it’s mostly about how much everyone in Pittsburgh adored Clemente. So maybe they just don’t like inspiring stories about people who aren’t white? The whole thing is moronic,” Tavares said in a tweet.
It’s a pretty shocking move from and the sports world had plenty to say about it.
Imagine banning a book on Hank Aaron. Florida has done it… https://t.co/XuH1J8OH77
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) February 7, 2023
Beyond offensive. https://t.co/8Pz5IOXLTe
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) February 7, 2023
We don’t actually need Florida. https://t.co/qz9pKpUI0k
— Randy Wilkins (@pamsson) February 7, 2023
Once again, these books aren't simply banned. It is a FELONY for teachers to let students borrow them, possibly including jail time.
Imagine being fined, losing your teaching license, and possibly going to jail because you gave a student a book about Henry Aaron. https://t.co/a4iECtbxCA
— Daniel R. Epstein (@depstein1983) February 7, 2023
There is evil afoot. https://t.co/AzPX3ubiNS
— Rob Neyer (@robneyer) February 7, 2023
This they ban? https://t.co/6LetXTQjYM
— David Lazarus (@Davidlaz) February 7, 2023
It’s not clear why exactly these books were banned, but it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring.