Jazz Chisholm Keeps It Real On Culture Clash With Non-Black Miami Marlins Teammates And Fighting For A “Colorless” Clubhouse

Jazz Chisholm Jr. is a history-maker in Major League Baseball as one of only nine Bahamian baseball players in MLB history.

Still, even that doesn’t exclude him from the locker room politics. Known for his flashy style, youthful exuberance and charismatic play, Chisholm opened up about the toxic culture that was pervasive in his Miami Marlins clubhouse.

Pray and Pray For My Downfall

“If I was sleeping or anything, nobody would even blink twice; they would let me sleep through the whole game,” Chisholm said on “The Pivot” podcast. Our team captain, when I was younger, came in and saw me sleeping like an hour before the game, and he knew we had a team meeting. He let me sleep through the team meeting, and the coach woke me up 15 minutes before the game. The team captain! That’s not a team captain, bro.”

Chisholm started his MLB career with the Florida Marlins in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although he didn’t say names, Miguel Rojas was the team captain then, and Chisholm felt like he was more of a leader than the leadership in place then.

Jazz Chisholm Assumed Leadership Role By Default

“I was already a team leader without being called a team leader,” Chisholm continued. “You can’t be a team leader when you’ve got guys that’s been in the clubhouse that’s been in there nine or 10 years even though they suck. They’ve been there for nine or 10 years, and the team calls them the team captain. But they’re not a good captain, they’re not a good person, you’re not even a good athlete at this point. You’re just here, and you’re bringing down the young guys that are supposed to be good.”

Known for his flashy jewelry and young OG swag on the field, Chisholm felt that his style clashed with the Marlins player culture. The result: limited relationships off the field and people telling him one thing to his face but another behind his back.

Known for his flashy jewelry and swag on the field, outfielder Jazz Chisholm felt that his style clashed with the Miami Marlins player culture. So he took the lead in making the locker room fun and inclusive. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“Our team captain tried to get me out of here,” Chisholm continued. “My team captain would come and tell me, ‘Bro, you’re the best on the team, bro. Keep on going, bro. You’re gonna be great. You’re gonna lead us one day.’ But then the next two seconds, he’s in (Don Mattingly, the manager’s) office telling the manager something, and then the manager coming and telling me, ‘Bro, this is what your team captain said.’

“Our manager doesn’t play that. He didn’t play that BS garbage. The last year that I got through all that stuff, we had a team meeting and he shut it all down … they wanted to put me in a box, and it wasn’t happening,” Chisholm said, referring to players not hanging out with him off the field. “‘The way he dresses coming to the field.’ ‘Oh, he wears four chains on the field.’ ‘He doesn’t wear dress shoes on the team plane’.”

Jazz Chisholm Was Born With Baseball Swag: He Gets It From Grandma

Style choices aside, Jazz Chisholm was raised to be a baseball player. According to the MLB website, his grandmother, Patricia Coakley, aka “Grammy Pat,” played shortstop for the Bahamian national softball team in the 1980s and didn’t retire until after her 60th birthday.

She started a baseball academy for boys in the Bahamas in 1985, and when Jazz was two years old, she began doing soft toss with him.

The bottom line is that he understands the game and what it is like to come up the ranks, so when he saw younger players being treated mistreated in the Marlins clubhouse, it rubbed him wrong. and he took action

“I watched someone get called up to the big leagues, supposed to be like top three prospects on our team, right? He gets up there, hits a homer,” Chisholm recalled. “First or second at-bat hits a homer. His next at-bat, he goes and does the Juan Soto shuffle. He’s a kid. His favorite player is Juan Soto. He just got to the big leagues. Tell me why he comes into the dugout after — he walks and comes around the bases — these vets sit on the side of him and starting yelling at him saying, ‘You’re not Juan Soto. You shouldn’t be doing that.’

“Bro, what do you mean? He’s having fun. We’re playing a f***ing kid’s game. That’s when I step in and say, ‘Y’all better back up off this boy, bro.’ This man is starting, he’s playing every day for us.”

Jazz Chisholm Fighting For A Winning Culture In Miami

Now, in his fourth season, the 2022 MLB All-Star says that the issues have been rectified and that he and his teammates are in a better space.

After all, Miguel Rojas left for his second stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers in January 2023.

“Our clubhouse now is so together,” Chisholm said. “From the top to the bottom, there’s not a color in that clubhouse.” Now I know if I’m sleeping, anybody in the clubhouse [will wake him up]. From the Spanish boys, to the white boys, to the Blacks, to anyone, I would do that now. We don’t even see color in that clubhouse.”

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