Former MLB legend Sammy Sosa is defending himself after drastically changing his skin tone to be lighter.
The Dominican ball player, who joined the MLB in 1989, retired in 2007 and kept a relatively low profile. He was known to fans as a prolific member of the Chicago Cubs, and it seemed odd that he wasn't involved with more team events as an alumnus.
Of course, Sosa has a family of his own, so people assumed that he chose to spend more time with them, which is absolutely legitimate.
But a recent interview with Sosa has some people thinking that maybe it wasn't intentional that the Cubs weren't honoring him...maybe they just couldn't pick him out of a lineup.
Sosa did an interview with Sports Illustrated and said that his life of luxury means he doesn't care what people say about him.
“Look at what I am today,” Sosa said. “This is my life, and I don’t take garbage from nobody. I do whatever I want.”
The "garbage" he's referring to is all the flack he's taken in the years since his retirement for his lightened skin tone. He's been called a racist for trying to "become white," but the former MLB star says that's far from the truth.
“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin tone,” Sosa told Univision in 2009. “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist, I live my life happily. What happened was that I had been using the cream for a long time and that, combined with the bright TV lights, made my face look whiter than it really is. I don’t think I look like Michael Jackson.”
Sosa also denied reports that he has vitiligo, the same condition Michael Jackson had.
Sosa's son, Sammy Jr., echoes his dad's words, saying he doesn't let the public's comments affect him.
“It doesn’t affect him, but I’m sure he feels a certain way,” explained Sammy Jr. “Like, ‘Man, I gave so many years and so much hard work for you guys, and now you want to undermine all that because of some decisions I’m making—some personal decisions that don’t affect you at all?’”
But even though Sammy Jr. and his father are close, it doesn't mean he has all the answers.
“He’s a really closed-off person, even with me,” Sammy Jr. said. “He doesn’t mean to be. There are some things I don’t know about my dad that I wonder about.”
It's obviously Sosa's choice to do whatever he wants to his body, but it's just incredibly strange that he chose to take such drastic measures, all for a cream that he claims just softens his skin.