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MLB

Sammy Sosa goes viral for skin bleaching pics

No stranger to controversy, Sammy Sosa has now gone viral with pictures that appear to show the Dominican slugger with noticeably lighter skin.

Update:
No stranger to controversy, Sammy Sosa has now gone viral with pictures that appear to show the Dominican slugger with noticeably lighter skin.
John ZichGetty Images

In a recent photo taken in London’s Regent Street, the iconic MLB slugger Sammy Sosa shocked many fans by appearing… well… white.

Fans were caught off guard and many expressed consternation that the Dominican former player would be a proponent of skin bleaching. Apart from being a medically questionable practice to say the least - many skin lightening products contain mercury - it is a highly controversial practice that is often associated with racism. Particularly the concept that racist indoctrination has made darker skinned individuals ashamed of their own color.

Sosa has been using bleaching cream for well over a decade now and in an interview with Univision’s Primer Impacto in 2009, he denied being racist or having shame in his skin color.

“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin tone. It’s a cream that I have that I use to soften, but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist, I live my life happily.

While some supporters tried to suggest that it may be used to combat vitiligo, the skin condition that can cause skin patches to blanch and become sensitive to sunlight, others pointed out that skin creams do not straighten hair. In the images, Sosa has noticeably straightened his hair, furthering the accusations that he was trying to somehow become less black.

“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.”

The star now resides in Dubai, which insulates him somewhat from criticism of his skin tone. Some have defended his actions and complete disregard for critics as a form of self-expression, not unlike tattoos or piercings. Whatever the reason behind it, we wish Sammy nothing but the best in his life after baseball.