On the week of the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run that broke Babe Ruth’s record, the baseball legend had some harsh words about Republican critics of President Obama:

“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.”

One of President Obama’s Republican critics, former Florida Rep. and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Allen West, offered Aaron a history lesson to his childhood hero:

From West’s message to Aaron:

Perhaps Mr. Aaron should remember that back then the folks in the hoods were Democrats. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should assess Barack Hussein Obama based upon his character and not his skin. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should realize that it was the former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) who stated that deference was given to Obama by blacks and that if anyone else were in the White House they would be marching. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should see that the national unemployment rate for blacks is 12.4 percent and there are no excuses. Perhaps Mr. Aaron needs to be reminded that Obama canceled the DC school voucher program for deserving minority (i.e. black) children in one of the nation’s worst school systems.

I am black, from Atlanta, raised by awesome parents, and based upon principle I challenge the policies of President Obama. Does that associate me with the KKK?

Read all of West’s remarks here.

Aaron, 80, is a senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves.