Hank Aaron compares Obama’s GOP critics to KKK

Hank Aaron (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Hank Aaron (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron compared President Barack Obama‘s opponents in the Republican Party to the people who threatened him as he neared Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974.

The 80-year-old told USA Today he still keeps the hate-filled, racist letters he received while playing baseball.

Aaron said he feels not much has changed over the last 40 years:

To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.

Aaron broke Ruth’s record on April 8, 1974 when he hit his 715th home run.

We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.

You can read the full interview with Aaron here on USA Today.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals