I saw this coming.
After Gabe Kapler opened the kneeling gates, and the sickening green light from Major League Baseball allowing, indeed encouraging, player to parade their social, political and partisan views on the baseball field, I assumed that my home town team, the Boston Red Sox, would buy a first-class ticket on the Woke Train, nauseating many in the process. The Boston franchise has been awash with guilt since it was more than a decade late in breaking the color line, finally promoting journeyman infielder Pumpsie Green to the Show after every other team had added at least one black player. In addition, we must never forget that this is Massachusetts, where citizens continued to elect Ted Kennedy to the Senate knowing full well that he lied his head off while ducking accountability in a clear-cut case of manslaughter. I love it dearly, but the Bay State is the land of symbolic liberalism at any price, appropriate or not.
Thus it was not a shock to see the Red Sox unveil a massive pro-Black Lives Matter billboard this week. The 250-foot thing is adjacent to Fenway Park, and facing out to the Massachusetts Turnpike. The huge sign reads “Black Lives Matter,” with the team’s logo at the end. The billboard includes the URL of the Red Sox Foundation website, where Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy has a statement titled, “Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion.” It is illogical, virtue-signaling pandering. You know: the usual.
I have been struggling to find the right words to express the profound anguish, outrage and confusion we are all feeling in the wake of the heartbreaking incidents that have occurred across the country over the past few months. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are stark reminders that racism and police brutality continue to be pervasive in America.
If I cherry picked three “heart-breaking” examples of African Americans engaging in horrific crimes over recent months—and it would not be difficult— would I be fair to describe them as “stark reminders that violence and brazen lawbreaking by African Americans are pervasive in America?” Why do we allow high profile statements like this to escape criticism?
I am proud of our teammates who peacefully protested yesterday. Each of you helped shine a spotlight on injustice, and used your voice to advocate for change. Please know we stand with you.
They accomplished nothing but following a mindless mob, and further dividing the country. Since such proetests and demonstrationspresent no actual substantive or reasonable recommendations for “change,” their advocacy consists of an empty call to “do something.”
So does yours, Sam.
Over the past few days, I spent time connecting with many of you and listening to your perspectives. I am so grateful to my teammates who consistently remind me that the Red Sox have an obligation to amplify the voices of those who share our values, but do not share our platform. Silence in the face of injustice is unacceptable.
That last sentence is unacceptable. I don’t have to agree with this argument to be “accepted,” and don’t. What is being done to police across the country, and insinuated by Black Lives Matter about the majority of the population, is unjust, and worse. It is destructive, and hysterical.
Thank you for your support of each other during these challenging times. Our work continues.
I’m quite sick of the “challenging times” mantra. They are challenging because organizations like the Red Sox cynically pander to racists and anarchists hoping they can avoid conflict that might negatively affect their bottom line.
And your “work” is entertaining and engaging Americans with good baseball, not promoting racial spoils while insulting your fans.
I think I’ll start spreading the narrative that your team’s trading Mookie Betts, the most talented African American it has ever had, advances systemic racism. Why wouldn’t the Red Sox pay him what he was worth?
I guess it was cheaper to put up a billboard.