Because, in the course of trying to communicate to his players while following MLB’s pandemic protocols, he made a gesture that might be taken as a Nazi salute if it weren’t on a baseball field in 2020 and if the supposed member of “Hitler’s Coaches” was insane, Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson was accused of deliberately giving a Nazi salute.
I didn’t need to see the video or learn anything more. I knew he wasn’t giving a Nazi salute, just as I wouldn’t need to check if someone told me a baseball player laid an ostrich egg on third base. The man was gesturing for some reason to explain something. Maybe he was saying, “Hit the ball out there!” and used the flat of his hand rather than pointing. I don’t know; I don’t care. There are no laws about gestures, and I always presume good will, not bad will and insanity.
But the usual bunch of cancel-hunters saw that they might be able to destroy someone, so they tried. This is like the equally ridiculous “OK” sign outrages. If these terrible, terrible human beings can’t get someone fired, at least they get a notch on their metaphorical belts if they can make someone grovel. Here they hit the jackpot: first the poor coach apologized, explaining that the A’s do something they call “the karate chop” instead of a high five (which is banned as part of the MLB protocols, and he was being schooled on the safe way to do it. He had reached out to do the chop with someone who said “No, no, no straight arm!” and Christenson took a second to realize what he meant. By all means, the coach should be fired. Heck fire both of them. Ban the team.
“Obviously I wasn’t doing that intentionally. I just blacked out, my mind wasn’t there and I spaced out. I’m sure it looks terrible. I did it but it was not intentional. I don’t know what more to say.,” said the coach. He issued this official apology:
Then, just to make sure these little tin dictators could really puff up their chests with pride, the Oakland A’s issued this:
No, the gesture was not offensive or racist, because it was not a Nazi salute. It was not intended as a Nazi salute, and nobody around Christianson thought he was giving a Nazi salute. There is nothing to be “deeply sorry for,” except that there are people in the United States who would pounce on something like this to cause trouble, and the fact that the Oakland A’s are so craven that they dance to their tune.
Christianson should NOT have apologized, because that is what these assholes want, and as long as their social extortion works, they will keep doing it. He should have said,
“No, I won’t apologize because some idiots intent upon making me crawl falsely claimed that I was Heiling Hitler before a game. The suggestion is insulting and ridiculous, as anyone who knows me could explain, and anyone with an ounce of common sense would know. Those I was talking to knew exactly why I was making the gesture in question, and nobody thought I was announcing my fealty to the Third Reich. We have to stop being intimidated and manipulated by people whose goal is to divide us, and I view this as my opportunity to do my part. I do not apologize, because I did nothing wrong. My character, however, has been unfairly unfairly impugned, along with my team and Major League Baseball. It is all of us who deserve an apology.”
I would have great respect for Christianson then, and he would deserve it. Instead, he was willing to serve as a pawn of those attempting to squeeze our devotion to liberty out of us in ways large and small.
That’s worse than making a gesture that looks like a Nazi salute.