Olivia R. August 20, 2019
Despite investing in NRG Esports, former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez had some negative things to say about the esports industry.
While commentating a Sunday Night Baseball match on August 18, the ex-Yankees player made some seemingly anti-gaming statements in front of the crowd of Little League World Series competitors.
"This is the first generation of kids that will not outlive their parents - and to think that there are more kids today playing esports than physical sports,” Rodriguez said.
He went on to say that parents should promote going outside and playing, rather than letting kids "choose to stay inside and play video games." Rodriguez added that when he was younger, he played Atari, but he also went outside for four to five hours, insinuating that children and teens today may not have that same balance.
Esports reporter Rod "Slasher" Breslau was the first to share the clip with the gaming community on Twitter. He agreed that being active is important to everyone's health, including esports pros, but didn't seem to be a fan of Rodriguez's wording.
"Saying this generation's kids will die before their parents 'because video games' is some true boomer shit," Slasher ranted.
Many esports organizations implement chefs, personal trainers, massage therapists, and other health professionals to make sure their players are active and healthy. As an investor, it's surprising that Rodriguez isn't aware of this, or that he would speak against gaming if he was aware.
In September 2017, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, Rodriguez, former MLB outfielder Marlon Byrd, and former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan invested in NRG Esports as part of the company's $15 million Series B financing round.
When NRG Esports was formed in 2015 by the owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings, Rodriguez had purchased equity in the organization along with Shaquille O'Neal.