Baseball writers Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post have recently endorsed the radicalization of sports. They argue the players are within their rights in bringing politics and race to the workplace.
Sure, they believe, let’s politicize and radicalize baseball as much as possible. Let’s have fists at the national anthem and let’s have players, as much as possible, speak out in the workplace in favor of Black Lives Matter, a self-confessed Marxist group that is ready to burn down the country if it doesn’t get what it wants (Hey, give them credit for honesty). I understand a number of Yankees want to do videos supporting BLM. Will they be on the Yes Network and WFAN radio?
Where the Bill of Rights Doesn’t Extend
Only I think you’re a little shaky on the Bill of Rights, which doesn’t give you the right to bring politics into the workplace. Employers have a right to maintain an apolitical workplace and for a very good reason: How will work ever get done if every workplace is dividing up among various political parties? The best thing about business in its ideal is the apolitical pursuit of profit and baseball, like almost every other business, will have a lot less of that if it radicalizes.
Baseball, which has been having trouble keeping up with other sports and forms of entertainment, is going down a dangerous road in telling players to go ahead and please speak out on various social issues. Maybe players can wear BLM banners. I know stuff like that is going to happen in basketball and football. So must we throw out the model of sports entertainment as a non-political escape?
I see you and Davidoff and many at ESPN etc. are all on board, with the radicalization. By the way, what happens if some radical, race baiting player also wants to have his say? Say he wants to waive the Confederate flag at a ballgame. Is that ok with you? Neither that nor a BLM banner is ok with me.
But does the average fan, who pays for this in countless ways including paying for municipal stadiums that were once privately owned, support this?
Many of us are sick of the persistent political rhetoric. We say “basta ya” and turn to sports for relief from all of this. I don’t want to hear LeBron whoop it up for the Red Chinese. I don’t want to hear often pampered athletes complain that they are discriminated against as they make tens of millions. All of this often includes a healthy helping of political correctness. (Example: If you say “All lives matter,” a basic Judeo/Christian ethic, you are branded a racist in some parts of these formerly free nation, now overrun by a form of left-wing McCarthyism. If someone in the Yankee clubhouse doesn’t go along with BLM, what will happen then?).
Does the average fan, someone like me who grew up in Highbridge in the Bronx and loved the late dynasty Yanquis of the late 1950s, want these politicalized, radicalized sports? I don’t. By the way, how many Yankee players and officials even know where or what Highbridge is?
My father and I used to come down the hill and watch Sunday doubleheaders in those glorious days. They were wonderful. And yes, you could watch home-team batting practice, no extra charge. I don’t begrudge the players making all the money they can. I do begrudge the players and owners not caring about the average fan getting priced out of the game and now forcing us to put up with another outrage: The players now giving us their political thoughts. I ‘m not paying for Socrates, Marx or even F.A. Hayek (the last one is to my taste since I’m a classical liberal. But you didn’t want to hear that, right? We’re supposed to be talking beisbol).
Do It Away from Work
Nothing stops players or anyone else for working for social justice or any other political cause they want in their spare time. And that is considerable. That’s because almost all players don’t have to work in the off season since they make so much geld. Well, good for them. But the next generation might not be so lucky because they, and their supporters like you, are looking down on us from your new political platforms. You don’t care. You think: We’ll put up with anything, even 60-game faux seasons. But are the writers like you, the owners and the players taking us for granted?
I think so.
Do most fans want formerly apolitical sports or players and sports writers, using their public platforms lecturing us on racial justice? Let me answer that question. About 35 years ago the great singer Babs came here to tell us we should vote for Dinkins over Rudy in the mayoral election. Regardless of how you felt, I think the average person was thinking: She lives in Beverly Hills, not the Big Apple. What does she know about our situation? Can I tell her who to vote for in her local elections?
I accept that you are an expert in the business of baseball, Mr. Sherman. I have enjoyed many of your columns over several decades. Your business acumen is considerable.
But if you are now going to use your baseball column to tell us about racial issues or politics you are making a mistake. What do you know about this? Are you now an expert in other areas? What is your background?
Politics and Sports
Are you going to do a column on why we should vote for Biden, the man who holds 30-minute press conference with softball questions and then says, “No more time now. I got to go now.” Where is he going? Or will you do a column supporting El Donaldo, who can’t stop talking and says so many stupid things.
Besides those insane, useless wars that the Bushes sent us into, are you also going to do a column on how a weak President Obama sent 30,000 more troops into that superfluous adventure in nation building in Afghanistan?
If you really want to learn about this read a biography on Senator Robert Taft, the “isolationist” (sic) Republican. He tried to stop the United States from becoming a national security state in the 1940s and warned we would end up “fighting an endless war for an endless peace.” This was a tragically true prediction. By the way, on his deathbed Taft was warning Ike not to send troops to Southeast Asia to bail out the French. Ike listened. Unfortunately, Camelot I, Lying Baines and Tricky didn’t. You should start doing this kind of reading—yes, my premise is I doubt you have ever done this kind of reading—if you are going to start writing about our wars, racial justice and the police.
Are you and Davidoff going to instruct your readers not only on the salary cap but on policing? Are you an expert on cops? Sure, bad cops should face all the civil and criminal penalties under law. And by the way, it took a courageous young black woman to remind us that George Floyd was a wife beater and a drug addict, which in no way negates the evil of his apparent murder by police. But why didn’t I ever learn those things from reading or watching mainstream media. Aren’t they relevant?
Do you also want to write about the many poor people not shot to death by the police, but by fellow gang members? The latter outnumbers the former by a country mile. Don’t those black lives also matter? I guess not. You didn’t write about that. I’m waiting for that column. Like waiting for a wretched Queens bound E-train, run by the even more wretched and incompetent MTA, it will be a long wait.
So go ahead, continue down this slope of sports, mixed with politics and race. Baseball is already in trouble. Baseball has already come a long way down the scale of popularity. Growing up in Highbridge in the 1950s and 1960s baseball was tops by far. To give you an indication, in the middle the summer heat, kids would stop playing ball on Nelson Avenue and go inside to watch the All-Star game!
In those days, football didn’t dwarf baseball, which was the national sport. Football wasn’t even number two. The second sport was boxing. Now baseball, even before this coming racialization, has dropped a lot.
Before this, I already noticed that most young people weren’t interested in a sport that old men like you and me loved. Go ahead. Write all about justice and politics. You’re no longer Joel Sherman, brilliant baseball writer. Now you’re the new Walter Lippmann.
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