Under Derek Jeter’s leadership, there are plenty of reasons to criticize the Marlins (like when it traded Mike Stanton to the Yankees for very little), but one thing we can get behind is the Miami team’s new education program. Baseball is already so largely Latino, and now the Marlins will require that non-Spanish speaking players learn Spanish.
Jeter saw firsthand how teams don’t meet Spanish-speaking players – who are expected to learn English – halfway. So as Latin American players take classes to learn English, the rest of the team and coaches will have to learn Spanish, according to ESPN. For the players, it will not only help them communicate with their teammates better and get around the very Latino city of Miami, it will also be useful for out-of-the-country trips.
“I’ve been to the Dominican [Republic] and Venezuela,” he said. “I went to Cuba with Major League Baseball in 2016. So I’ve been to those countries and tried to learn as much as I could about their cultures. Everybody expects the Latin players to make an effort to speak English. Well, especially here in Miami, if you don’t speak Spanish, you don’t fit in. I think it’s important.”