For the past eight years or so, changes to Sammy Sosa's appearance have been noticeable. Basically, Sosa's darker skin tone started to get lighter and lighter. In 2009, during an interview on Univision's Primer Impacto program, Sosa admitted to using a "bleaching cream," saying that he'd "apply before going to bed," and that it "whitens my skin some."
Sosa was quick to say that it was "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."
That last comment is the most concerning; I don't know if he's "racist" or not, but it would appear that since 2009, his skin as gotten lighter and lighter, to the point where I wasn't surprised to see him trending on Twitter for the pink-ish complexion he's now sporting.
The current image of Sammy Sosa going viral is from an interview with ESPNDeportes about the Home Run Derby from earlier this week. After a still from that clip hit the internet, Twitter kept its foot on Sosa's neck, going ham on Sosa's complexion in the recording (that outfit certainly didn't help).
Sammy Sosa really living his life as a one man Neapolitan Ice Cream pic.twitter.com/enU75FS5ML— Ol' QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) July 13, 2017
Sammy Sosa out here lookin like Pepto Bismal. pic.twitter.com/1xdKo84Bko— OXTAIL GAWD (@ThatDudeMCFLY) July 13, 2017
My man Sammy Sosa looking like Snagglepuss smh pic.twitter.com/arJWAvQKMi— G (@__GDB) July 13, 2017
Sammy Sosa making light skin Michael Jackson look like Wesley Snipes. pic.twitter.com/YOR0MtBrWY— Alvin aqua Blanco (@Aqua174) July 13, 2017
Sammy Sosa looks like a raw chicken. pic.twitter.com/3xlcPXxvnG— James 🤙🏽 (@_artistone_) July 12, 2017
Bro who turned Sammy Sosa into an eraser pic.twitter.com/npJDuqQGqT— Danté (@Dante_Jordan) July 13, 2017
While Sosa went on record to say that he's "not a racist," there seem to be some deeper-seeded issues regarding skin tone, especially for people from the Dominican Republic, that aren't being discussed, and should be.
as a dominican, the sammy sosa pic is a sad reminder of the self-hate and psychological damage of white supremacy that still exist among us.— alex medina (@mrmedina) July 13, 2017
Sammy Sosa the face of all self hating Dominicans— Elvin Broquete (@Broquete) July 13, 2017
sammy sosa = the perfect example of a dominican that doesn't want to be defined as black. self hate is real. dominicans in denial is real.— Jessica Johnson (@iheartdilla) July 13, 2017
If you want a glimpse at the depth of anti-blackness and colorism in Dominican Republic, just look at Sammy Sosa.— ASAHD!!! (@solopolo808) July 13, 2017
So while Twitter was getting those (very creative) jokes off, there's definitely an undercurrent of self-hatred going on with Sosa that should be addressed at some point.