I’ll Try To Stop This From Being A Rant, But I’m Not Promising Anything…[Corrected]

When The Great Stupid starts affecting my enjoyment of baseball, it’s personal.

I’m not watching another baseball game this “season,” and whether I ever do again is up for grabs. Someone in Major League Baseball’s marketing department should take notice, because when the game loses people like me—that is, lifetime, sophisticated, passionate fans, it’s in trouble.  For almost 15 years, I never missed a single Boston Red Sox game.  I’ve watched games in 13 different parks and stadiums; I shared a season ticket to the Baltimore Orioles for several years. I managed hundreds of Strat-O-Matic table top baseball games; along with two friends, I created and marketed a Red Sox trivia game in 1986. In 1978, I risked my job at Georgetown by walking out of a mandated staff meeting because the Red Sox-Yankee single game play-off was about to start, and  I wasn’t about to miss it.

I just gave a Smithsonian Associates program on baseball. Most of all, much of my personal philosophy was built on baseball observations and experiences. Fenway Park is the single place on earth where I am entirely happy, and I choke up every time Robert Redford gives his “God, I love baseball” speech in “The Natural.”

This week, however, baseball players refused to play their games in solidarity with an obnoxious NBA protest. I take it as a personal insult, and the fact that MLB took no action against the players as signature significance. These people are not merely unethical fools, but unethical fools who are smug and arrogant about it.

I will not waste my valuable time and fragile emotions rooting for such people. I have more self-respect than that.

This week’s madness..CUE!!!!

…began with the NBA’s players spontaneously deciding to boycott their games. Again, the supine league decided to let them do it, making vague virtue-signalling noises about how they support the players’ activism in pursuit of “social justice.” Well, let me refine that: it really began when the evil NFL, which happily makes billions encouraging players to destroy their brains, decided at the outset of the George Floyd Freakout to not only allow widespread Kaepernicking, but to encourage it. Next we had pro baseball and basketball  trying to top each other in betraying their obligations to fans of their teams and sport by endorsing not just political messages embraced by players and exhibited in the stadiums, but offensive or infuriatingly meaningless ones.

Point One: We do not watch professional sports, or any sports, to be lectured on politics by athletes who usually have the current events acumen of 14-year-olds.

Point Two:  They are paid millions of dollars to do what they do well, which is competing in a sport, not to be vocal, ignorant activists. They have no right to inflict their infantile, peer-pressure forged opinions on ticket-buyers or TV viewers, just as I have no right to interrupt a legal ethics seminar to explain what a blight Nancy Pelosi is on our democracy. I can do that here, but I am my own boss here. The NFL was right—insert blind pig joke—to ban kneeling, and it and the other sports were morons…CUE!!!

…to reverse themselves so BLM mobs wouldn’t come to their leadership’s homes and demand they raise their fists.

Point Three: While the NBA and MLB didn’t have the guts or integrity to suspend the players who decided they were just, just, too emotional to do their jobs this week, the players’ actions cost their teams and sports media money from lost ad revenue, and essentially consisted of a raised middle finger to loyal team supporters who looked forward to their games, all while accomplishing nothing—literally nothing—regarding “social justice.”

I’m not going to regurgitate what I wrote repeatedly when the knees were falling all over the NFL, but the short version is that these are incoherent, useless, grandstanding gestures by people who couldn’t explain on a bet what exactly they want to communicate other than “Do something!” and “Look at me! I care!”, or how it could possibly do anything for “social justice.”

I snapped when yesterday,  the day after baseball’s sympathy strike, I listened to a snippet of two commentators—I think one was a former player andthe other a former GM— on the Sirius-XM MLB network talking about how impressive and noble it was for the L.A .Dodgers to unify in purpose because Mookie Betts had announced that he “didn’t feel comfortable” playing the scheduled game. This was the right thing to do, they intoned, because “this is a moment in history” that is more important than games, and the players were right to take a stand.

There went my head, right in the car. And how does taking a night off from your job address any social problems? What moment in history? You mean the “moment in history” where violent gangs of assholes are roaming the streets, setting fires and frightening people because Democratic elected officials are afraid of being called racists if they enforce the law? Or do you mean the “moment in history” where large numbers of an entire race has decided that the solution to its many problems (a significant number of which are of their own making) is to denigrate another race,  trash their own country, demonize police, and demand increasingly unjust and destructive accommodations until they have seeded a race war, just like Charles Manson always wanted?

Mookie Betts has a contract worth more than a third of a billion dollars. Instead of not doing his job to pursue..something..why doesn’t he pledge, oh, let’s say 100 million or so to, oh, just as a wild example, exhort African Americans  to cooperate with police like citizens are supposed to, and explian why this is in everyone’s best interests? As an aside, Mookie shows how nice people let fame and fortune turn them into jerks. I am glad the Red Sox traded Mookie. He now thinks he has special importance beyond how well he plays baseball. He doesn’t. He’s playing in my field now, and Mookie Betts has as much business publicly instructing the anyone on right and wrong as I have playing right field for the Dodgers.

The NBA’s acknowledged king of kings, LaBron James tweeted out “We Demand Change! Sick of it!” What exactly are you sick of. Lebron? He told interviewers,

“It’s just, quite frankly, it’s just fucked up in our community. I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids we are terrified. If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman, or detain him, or before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here you’re lying to not only me, you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community because we see it over and over and over.”

I’m sick of the Lebron Jameses who use their outsized influence to shoot off their mouths and tweets without knowing what the HELL they are talking about.

In the case of Jacob Blake, we know that police used a taser on him—I’d say that was one way to subdue him, wouldn’t you, Labron?  We also know that while being told to stop, and not to reach into his car, he did exactly what he was warned not to do. Eventually we will be informed of whether police reasonably thought Blake was reaching for a weapon, justifying the police shooting. but  the easiest, simplest way for that shooting to be avoided was for Blake to do what he was ordered to do.

If black women are terrified, I presume that among the things that terrify them are   men like Blake, whom police were attempting to protect a black woman from.  A criminal complaint held that at 6 a.m. on May 3, Blake entered his ex-girlfriend’s home  in an attempt to retrieve his property, and while there, “penetrated the woman with his fingers” without her consent—that’s called “rape.” Then,

Blake, 29, was forbidden from going to the Kenosha home of his alleged victim from the May 3 incident, and police were dispatched Sunday following a 911 call saying he was there. The responding officers were aware he had an open warrant for felony sexual assault, according to dispatch records and the Kenosha Professional Police Association, which released a statement on the incident on Friday. That police union statement also claimed that Blake was armed with a knife at the time of the shooting — and had put one cop in a headlock and shrugged off two Taser attempts while resisting arrest….

This isn’t racial profiling. This isn’t sytemmic racism. Why are you grandstanding for this creep, Mookie? LeBron? Anybody? Do you even know the still incomplete facts of the episode? Of course you don’t. You’re being assholes, and your pathetic sports are not only allowing you to be assholes, they are applauding you for it. The theory is that somehow, this makes things better in America. CUE!

And hence, The Great Stupid.

Or is it George Floyd the athletes are protesting about? We know that Officer Chauvin wasn’t a racist, or if he was, he had done a marvelous job hiding it. We know he wasn’t intentionally trying to kill Floyd, just being negligently cruel and brutal because 1) he was that kind of cop and 2) Floyd–of course!—had resisted arrest. Now we also know that this week…

…prosecutors who have charged Derek Chauvin with murder released a document that suggests that he had nothing to do with Floyd’s death, which in all likelihood resulted from a drug overdose. Not only that, prosecutors have known that fact for months. At 7:30 p.m. on May 31, 2020, prosecutors “met” online with Dr. Andrew Baker, Chief Medical Examiner of Hennepin County, to discuss Floyd’s toxicology report….”

“So there they were, staring at the just-received and damning toxicology report that blew to smithereens the whole prosecution theory that the police had killed Floyd. To their undoubted dismay, Dr. Baker, the chief medical examiner, had to concede that at 11 ng/mL, Floyd had “a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.” He also conceded that the fentanyl overdose “can cause pulmonary edema,” a frothy fluid build-up in the lungs that was evidenced by the finding at autopsy that Floyd’s lungs weighed two to three times normal weight. This is consistent with Officer Kueng’s observation at the scene that Floyd was foaming at the mouth and, as found at autopsy, that his lungs were “diffusely congested and edematous.”

“In other words, like a drowned man, Floyd’s lungs were filled with fluid. And that was the obvious and inescapable reason why Floyd kept shouting over and over again that he couldn’t breathe even when he was upright and mobile.”

The memorandum ends with Dr. Baker’s devastating conclusion that “if Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he [Dr. Baker] would conclude that it was an overdose death.” It is quite telling that this explosively exculpatory June 1 memorandum was not released by the prosecution until August 25, 2020. All of which prompts these questions: First, why did the prosecution wait three months to release this memorandum?Second, if the prosecution had released this information in a timely fashion, would that have helped to quell the anti-police outrage that has fueled the nationwide orgy of rioting and looting? Third, in light of Floyd’s toxicology results and the medical examiner’s assessment that Floyd’s fentanyl overdose caused him to essentially drown in his own bodily fluid, why haven’t the charges against all of the police defendants been dropped?

Never mind; Facts Don’t Matter. Are the players grandstanding because of what happened to George Floyd, which may have been entirely his own doing? Was it because of what happened to Blake when he tried to harass his alleged rape victim? Is it all just a primal scream expressing nothing useful at all, and yet an empty, juvenile and obnoxious gesture that we are supposed to respect…why, because the screamers are  athletes? Being led by black athletes? What?

Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball, released a statement saying in part, “I have said both publicly and privately that I respect those decisions and support the need to address social injustice.” 100% empty rhetoric. What does “address social injustice” mean? Fred Wilpon, the owner of the New York Mets, released another statement saying, “The entire Mets organization remains committed to creating meaningful change in our society.”

What meaningful change? Where were the competent journalists who demanded answers to that question?

I’m out.

Well, I guess that was a rant. And I don’t even feel better.

39 thoughts on “I’ll Try To Stop This From Being A Rant, But I’m Not Promising Anything…[Corrected]

  1. It will take a while before I start watching sports again also. I was following the Stanley Cup Playoffs until they also went on “strike”. I won’t watch the remaining games or even visit the sports page now.

    This nonsense has permeated almost everything I enjoy; it’s disgusting.

  2. Well, I wrote that in a fever, and my sister called me just as I was ready to do the last proofing. 30 minutes later, I posted it, and only now got all (or most) of the typos out—there must have been 20.

    I’m sorry. Fixed.

  3. First, I respectfully suggest you re-proof that first paragraph after the intro sentence. It is suffused with Glenn Logan-level grammar and spelling errors. It should not be allowed to live in infamy.

    Second, let me join you in outrage. First, I must point out that I really don’t watch professional sports much anymore other than golf. In most years, I watch some of the NBA Playoffs and the Super Bowl. I will watch neither league at all this season, not even for a moment. Whether I ever return even to the small participation of previous years will depend upon whether or not the leadership of the two sports ever return to sanity. I am not hopeful, but also, I don’t particularly care if these leagues destroy themselves.

    Third, let me say that there are disturbing signs of this madness bleeding down into college sports, where players have much less ability to demand concessions. The coaches, understanding that it is mostly conservative older people who pay their salaries and fund their stadiums, are largely doing yeoman’s work keeping the lid on, but if it continues on it’s current trajectory, I will abandon college sports as well — including my beloved Kentucky Wildcats. There are some things that I will not accept, and capitulation to the “woke” mob is one of them, directly or by proxy.

    Finally, I noted an article this week that insisted that Disney’s dramatic failures in the final tranche of movies in the Star Wars franchise, which were all obscenely “woke,” has sobered the company and begun to change their thinking inside management. Apparently, the color green matters much more to them, an enterprise ostensibly engaged in making profit, than continuing to kowtow to the black social justice mob.

    At least this last offers a tiny sliver of hope that perhaps the financial impact of “woke” political obsession will finally convince professional sports to sober up from their mad, self-destructive binge on the social justice swill.

    I hope the hangover is a doozy.

    • I’m really glad so many readers click on these posts the nanosecond they go up. The downside is posts like these. As my beloved sister was arguing and arguing, I kept thinking,
      OH, god, that thing is live and I not only didn’t proof it, I was frantic when I wrote it.

    • I think money will eventually be the deciding factor in whether this “woke” nonsense continues in sports, but I’m afraid that it’s going to take a while longer. The disrupted season this year will provide the wokesters with plausible deniability that falling revenues are because of their toxic politics. COVID will be blamed first, so we may have to endure another season of this crap before the accountants tell the executives that it’s time to rein it in.

    • Rest assured. College sports are toast, too. Same as high school sports. Why, here in Houston, two Katy High School football players have declared they won’t play the scrimmage and first official games this season in solidarity with two people who demonstrated a lifelong animosity to making good decisions. Instead of benching their asses, the principle and the football coach (I think two different people but who knows, who cares?) admired their courage. Let’s see if the admire that other player who will undoubtedly refuse to kneel and won’t pray the George Floyd novena.

      jvb

      jvb

      • We’ll see. If I see players kneeling for the national anthem and wearing BLM crap on their uniforms, it’s over.

        If coaches want to wear BLM t-shirts to support their players, fine. But don’t ram that crap down my throat during games or I’m out. Forfeit a game and I’m out. Refuse to play in a game and not get a suspension – Out.

        • I’ve concluded most sports can not survive at any level, from kiddie to pro, without black athletes. The people who make a living coaching, managing, and owning franchises or being ADs and league people (even college presidents) are all terrified of having unhappy black athletes. These people in the business will cower until the cows come in to preserve their salaries and investments. The inmates are running the asylum. Perhaps more accurately, a few of the field hands are running the plantation. The field bosses and the plantation owners are running scared. I don’t see it stopping in the foreseeable future. LeBron James will go directly from the court to owning a franchise AND being the commissioner of the NBA.

          • I don’t know. If black athletes chose not to participate, I’d still watch. If the people in business are stupid enough to allow racial blackmail, then I suppose they deserve to lose their business.

              • I absolutely would. It’s not silly at all.

                Look, the idea that black athletes are so superior to whites that whites may as well sit at home is just absurd. They have some advantages, to be sure, whether due to nature or nurture. And the way the games have evolved have tended to benefit the strength of black athletes more than those of white athletes.

                But that doesn’t make them the only race capable of high-level athletic performance. Your implication to the contrary is what’s silly.

  4. We come here for the ethics; we stay for the typos. 🙂
    Very well done. This is getting circulated within my very small circle of non-facebook acquaintances.
    Stay strong.

  5. I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids we are terrified.

    Black women being afraid of cops is simply unreasonable hysteria. Set aside the other statistics that have been brought up here, and use the left’s metrics:a s a straight proportion of the population vs. the number killed and ignore the differences in criminality. White males are 14 times more likely to be shot than a black female. I don’t think most white males are afraid of being shot by a cop, in spite of that far more likely odds.

    • Yeah, well, Michelle Obama excoriated the nation in her most recent podcast, declaring that white privilege is all around and whites simply don’t understand the damage the white community does to people of color, and especially to black women (along with her two daughters and friend of color) when they cut in line at Basking Robbins. At Basking Robnins?!?! Is nothing safe from whites and their stupid privilege?!

      Why anyone takes anything she says seriously is beyond me.

      jvb

    • Statistics aside for a moment, in Blake’s case it was a black woman who called for the police to come help her, to protect her from a black man. (The restraining order apparently was not working as advertised.) Until the police arrived it was an all black lineup. If she was afraid of him would she have called them? Doubtful, and this is not an outlier, these scenarios happen daily all over the country, mostly in urban settings, except that most offenders survive their encounter with the cops.

      Labron is simply parroting the BS he has been told by the mob.

  6. My husband stated this morning that he is now done with the NHL, he swore off the NFL last week. Should be an interesting fall and winter with no sports to watch on weekends, oh wait, we still have golf!

    • I’m done with pro golf as well as everything else, Laura. What a bunch of indulged gazillionaire brats. Healthy, young guys terrified of a virus. Afraid of catching the virus from their caddy by touching a golf club. Adios boys. Have fun playing what look like practice rounds in front of no one. I hope soon they’re all giving lessons and punching the cash register at the local driving range.

  7. Jack, I salute you for telling MLB to take a hike. For you to do that, that’s saying something. Stunning, actually.

    I think comparing MLB players to fourteen year-olds is an insult to fourteen year-olds.

  8. Laura: “Should be an interesting fall and winter with no sports to watch on weekends, oh wait, we still have golf!”

    What a great time to give up being a couch potato and actually go out and participate in a sport!

    My recommendation, take up shooting Laura. It’s actually a great participatory sport for people of all ages and abilities/disabilities, where women regularly, I might say consistently, outperform men on a level playing field.

    There may be long term off range advantages as well!

  9. Well, one thing this kerfuffle did was to let me know that the NBA has finished their regular season and gotten to the playoffs. Good to know. You can infer from that how much of the NBA I watch.

    I’m not quite finished with MLB just yet, but I’ll admit to being hugely disappointed and annoyed at the cancellations. Part of it, I imagine, is that I’ve pretty much been strictly a radio (MLB app) listener so I haven’t been exposed to the visuals. And also that the broadcasters have done a good job of pretty much announcing baseball and not straying into off-field matters very much. That’s the Rangers audio team — not sure how the Astros folks have handled this.

    I think these leagues are such small communities that it is difficult for players and managers to buck the trend. Hmmm, does that mean they judge other players by the performance of their bats and not the color of their skins? What a concept!

    Also, I think that the top MLB management (Rob Manfred, you know who you are) is using this crisis to push some of their pet projects on the game — to wit, universal DH, the extra inning runners on second (which, btw, is not going to happen in the playoffs), etc. I think they hope that teams and players will get used to these thing and acquiesce in them during the next collecting bargaining agreement.

    Assuming they can get together to sign a new CBA. I believe that is supposed to happen next year and, given the really disgusting bargaining leading up to this season-like-no-other, I am not optimistic that they can reach agreement. If there is a strike or lockout next year, that could really spell doom to MLB.

    And don’t even get me started on what MLB is trying to inflict on minor league baseball. One wonders if they are working on switching to a college level farm system such as the NFL employs.

    I am still hanging in there, but I’m not optimistic about MLB’s future.

  10. Never mind; Facts Don’t Matter.

    Some thoughts . . .

    Many people now recognize or are recognizing more and more every day, that the entire *narrative* of the Left is based in lies. So, it is very true that facts (and truth) do not matter. What we are dealing with in them is their *will*. And it seems that their will is dedicated to perceiving through distortions.

    Even if it is true that George Floyd actually died of a drug overdose, and even if every recent incident that has been used as a pretext for destructive actions, except perhaps the bird-watcher in Central Park (but there is some reason to doubt there as well), if looked at fairly would undermine the narrative established about them, still their *will* is what counts. It is not what they say. They do not really have anything to say in the sense of no coherent discourse of view.

    What that will intends in the largest senses I do not know. I do not think they know. But that is what interests me most: to penetrate and understand it. Not only is it anti-American it is in a broader sense anti-White and also anti-Occidental. It is anti-reason as well. But what it really is I cannot make out.

    But here is an interesting *fact* to consider. We have witnessed mobs of people who attack property and persons and many deaths have occurred (as well as wounding and astounding disruption). They descend to do harm. That is their intention. The Radical Right — the “Radical Fringe” — has done nothing remotely comparable.

    Now reconsider the situation of James Alex Fields in Charlottesville. His story is that he was trapped in his car by thugs and he got scared and tried to get away, not that he intended to kill people. Yet he was given 2 life sentences and in this sense because ‘facts don’t matter’. He became a sacrificial victim. And the meeting in Charlottesville, though it had a militant ideological aspect, was actually peaceful — until the same Mob active these days inserted their will. And that’s the key: their will.

    Yet seen in the light of the present it is now possible — “It’s possible!” as said Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men — that James Fields was a victim of a mob attack that caused him to react in fear. They would have clubbed him to death possibly with baseball bats if they’d been able to. Clubbed his car and hauled him out of it if they could. And there is the real truth about these mobs. It is not mobs of Rightist hoodlums that have carried out this destruction (though one cannot put to the side Dylann Roof and the synagogue killer except that these were solitary incidents carried out by deranged men), it is mobs of Progressive Left lunatics.

    Now it seems to me that Charlottesville actually needs to be reexamined in the light of the present.

    And that is my assertion, and in a sense it has been my assertion all along. The ideas and perspectives of the (genuine) right have validity and coherency. They come up against an entire edifice that is founded on the real distortions. It is because their ideas are sound (in most senses) that they are violently fought against.

  11. An outstanding piece!!!

    Much like Jack’s restaurant example – standing up and telling these thugs you will NOT submit – athletes in organized sports (particularly paid professional athletes) will continue to blather like incoherent donkeys until we refuse to watch, refuse to go to their venues, and refuse to buy the merchandise the leagues market.

    I do not like the whole “boycott” and “cancelling” response, but athletes bank on us watching them – in a literal and figurative sense. Our only real counter-action is to refuse to do so. They won’t listen to us, but when revenues start dropping…maybe. I love baseball….LOVE it…but I’m not watching it while this kind of infantile political stupidity goes on. Same with football. I’m not “cancelling” them…I’m simply refusing to give them my bit of advertising money until they return to just playing the sport and leave their political opinions in the locker room. I told A&E the same thing when they cancelled “Live PD” as their contribution to virtue signalling…I will return to A&E when “Live PD” returns, and not until.

    I guess my wife and I will spend Sunday afternoons sitting on the couch…I don’t know…making out or something…

  12. This is the year we were stripped of a lot of the things that we liked and that were important to us, and expected to like it. The message rings loud and clear that if you aren’t woke, there is no place for you in this brave new world. The thing is, like Obamacare, it was predicated upon and sold to us with lies, half-truths, and omissions, which a lot of our fellow Americans have bought, hook line and sinker. Obamacare was as much about power as it was about putting healthcare on the national stage and giving people greater access. The Democrats and the left knew it, and that’s why they used procedural chicanery, promises to the now-dead Senator Spector that they had no intention of keeping from the get-go, and lies and half-truths to the general public to get it passed – without even saying what was in it. It was a power grab, plain and simple.

    The left tried for a cultural power grab three years ago, with the assault on Confederate monuments, which they tried to parlay into attacks on other areas of history. Unfortunately for them, it kind of petered out before it could really go anywhere, NYC made it clear it wasn’t going to stand for attacks on public art, and the next thing you knew, we were in the holiday season and no one was thinking about fighting over statues and what they stood for anymore. The first of the year passed, and the mayor of NYC said he was moving one statue and that was it. There was still a dislike of police, but they still met with grudging respect…mostly. The days of assassinating police or declaring them enemies were over. I think I should really say that they were over for that period of time. The plans for a cultural and political power grab never really went away. They just went on standby, waiting for the right time for them to be revived. Even though there were other police shootings and errors, it just never seemed to be the right time. Besides, the economy was doing well, and most people were too busy making money to bother. Then came the pandemic, which put a huge amount of people out of work, so they’d be available for protesting/rioting. All they needed was the spark to set this off. George Floyd was it. This was it, the spark to light the flame of white hatred and make a revolutionary break with the past. It stopped being about Floyd in two days. Meantime, though, the liberal DA and other authorities, who might have had a chance to tamp this down by saying hey, we don’t have all the facts, said nothing instead. Inwardly these mayors and governors were dancing with glee at the chance to proclaim a new cultural revolution and destroy conservative America forever. The same mayors and governors who ticketed Hasidic Jews for burying their dead and moms for walking in parks told the police to use a light touch or stand down completely from protests that quickly became riots. They wanted to be helpless, anything to make the president look either incompetent (if he did nothing) or heavy-handed (if he did). Meantime this movement either forced local leadership into embarrassing humiliation like foot-washing, pulled them into their own orbit, or overwhelmed them.

    Corporate America and entertaining America was only too eager to jump on the bandwagon. I think it’s gone too far, though, finally. Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, the worst enabler of this domestic terror movement, dared to write a snarky letter to the president about proffered Federal aid, which I took apart, because it really lays bare where this is all heading if it isn’t there already and just how MIA the left is at this point:

    Dear President Trump:
    Yet again, you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city.

    – Yup – That’s what the Federal Government does when a city can’t handle its own problems, as you’ve proven time and time again you can’t.

    On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.
    We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are on to you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence and vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.

    – Reckless disregard for human life? It was idiots like you telling the president he was a racist and a xenophobe for stopping travel from China, where this virus originated. You haven’t taken the first step toward responding to this, and your idea of preventing the spread of the virus is allowing people to flood the streets. There’s a good chance that the US will see this images that are not normal – if they vote for law and order, then that’s their prerogative.

    There is no place for looting, arson, or vandalism in our city. There is no room here for racist violence or those who wish to bring their ideology of hate into our community. Those who commit criminal acts will be apprehended and prosecuted under the law.

    – Apparently 90 days of looting, arson and vandalism just didn’t happen. Apparently antifa didn’t bring their ideology of hate and violence into your community. Apparently your own district attorney didn’t just say that he WOULDN’T prosecute offenders, to the point where the Oregon State Police just gave up and left your city because they didn’t want to waste their resources apprehending criminals who would just be released right back onto the streets to commit more crimes.

    Tens of thousands of Portlanders have peacefully protested and marched for the noble cause of fixing our broken criminal justice system. They are part of the proud progressive tradition of Portlanders fighting for justice — from racial justice to economic justice to environmental justice.

    – Noble cause? Don’t make me laugh. Burning courthouses, attacking police stations, and kicking people in the head isn’t “fighting for justice,” it’s just bringing anarchy and destruction and chaos into ordinary people’s lives.

    When you sent the feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse. Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city.

    – No sir. The feds didn’t cause these criminals in the streets to set more fires, attack more people, or destroy more property. That’s on them, and on you for failing to quell it.

    In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.

    – And you’re doing SUCH a sterling job of it.

    Stay away, please.

    – I’m afraid it’s reaching the point where the Feds can’t do that, and, frankly, there isn’t much you can do to stop them, jurisdictionally or otherwise. A city that cannot keep order is not going to stop the Federal government if it decides to take action.

    You sir, are not the heir to any “noble cause” or whatever other high-minded bullshit, excuse my language, that you decide to dress it up in. You are the heir to the ignoble tradition of a slew of ignoble governors, mayors, and other local officials from fifty plus years ago and far south and east, when you were still learning the alphabet and letter combinations off flash cards and hadn’t started to memorize the multiplication tables. These were the men (there were few women in public office then) who looked the other way, took no action, pretended they saw nothing, and generally refused to do their sworn duty to protect the people they served – all of them, regardless of color, creed, or political affiliation. It was that deliberate dereliction of duty that sent a message to those who intimidated, attacked, and sometimes killed those they disliked or disagreed with – the message that they could continue to intimidate, attack, and kill without fear of consequences.

    You are also the heir to an even more ignoble tradition of some other men decades before you were even born, across an ocean, but right there in the history books for you to read about, who not only failed to protect, but actively encouraged others to displace, rob, beat, humiliate, and destroy those they disfavored. That also sent a message – get out or prepare to be abused until such time as we decide we are weary of abusing you and eliminate you.

    What’s that you say? How dare I make those comparisons? I dare, sir, because they are apt comparisons to make. It doesn’t matter if the masks are white or black, or whether the motivation is race hatred or political hatred. There is very little practical difference between those who call themselves Christians but act in an actively anti-Christian manner like the Klan, and those who loudly proclaim opposition to fascism, but act like the very thugs they claim to oppose, like Antifa. Whether the violence is perpetrated by young men with short hair in neatly pressed khaki shirts against those they consider “untermensch” or by skinny young men with long hair in raggedy tees against those they consider “unwoke” is a distinction without much of a difference. The end result is the same – complete breakdown of social order and rule of mob rather than of law. I could also throw in something about the difference between red and black and talk of “peace, bread and land” while bringing oppression, hunger, and displacement, but I think you get the point, and if you don’t, more examples won’t make you get it.

    It was the Feds who had to come in to make Brown v. Board of Education happen, and it was the Feds who had to come in and enforce the Civil Rights Act against this previous nose-thumbing by local officials.

    If the Feds have to come and restore order here, I hope they charge you, in Federal Court. It’s illegal to set a practice that deprives people of their Constitutional rights, and I’d say failure to even try to keep the order you are charged with keeping qualifies. I’m sure other charges could be levied if the U.S. Attorney puts on his thinking cap. You may be prepared to send a flip letter to the president in the hopes of scoring some political points in your fantasy world, but are you prepared to explain to a judge and a jury why you prevented the police from enforcing the law and allowed rioting to go on for 100 days? I guarantee you that a jury won’t be composed solely of social justice warriors. There will be some ordinary people on that jury – shopkeepers, business owners, firefighters, and I don’t think they’ll see it your way.

    I’m sorry, Jack, but I think the ordinary people of this nation are WAY past caring if sports teams walk off the field. I think they’re also WAY past the racial reckoning that this movement was trying to produce. At this point ordinary people, like myself, are fearful that tomorrow a BLM caravan could show up in our town. My hometown has maybe 30 policemen total (most towns in the area have between 30 and 45, only 1/3 of whom are on duty at any given time), and I’m not sure if there is anything in place for mutual aid with other towns, the county, the State of NJ, or the Feds . Even if there is, there’s a really big question in my mind as to whether it would matter. Even if it’s just a matter of putting out a code over the radio when someone sees those three or four chartered buses pull into the Stop & Shop parking lot, realizes what’s going on, and calls 911, it would take the nearest three towns probably a half hour from the time they get the alert to mobilize what men they could, get them into their SWAT gear and get them on their way. It would probably be an hour for the county to assemble their emergency response team and get them here. The nearest State Police barracks are in Bloomfield and Totowa, and any response from them would probably take forty minutes to an hour. Any Federal resources of consequence would have to come from either Newark or across the river, and that’s a minimum of an hour. That’s plenty of time for a couple hundred “peaceful protesters” to overpower the few officers on duty, destroy parked cars, smash windows, light fires, steal local businesses blind, beat up any poor shlub unlucky enough to be out on the street, and be GONE before the sirens of the first mutual aid units are close enough to be heard. That’s what can happen if BLM just decides to make an example of your town. If there is a police-involved shooting of a black person, be it a mistake, resistance, or whatever the circumstances, as soon as it hits the news, expect 8-10 buses of peaceful protesters, and expect your whole town to be destroyed. This is the new normal, and it will be the new normal unless decisive action to end it is taken.

  13. I have to admit I’m curious…how far along was the staff meeting when you walked out, did you at least come back before the meeting was over, and how did you get out of being fired?

    • I had worn a Boston Red Sox helmet for three weeks, vowing not to remove it until Boston won the pennant. My dedication was widely known. The Monday meeting had been scheduled for a while—unlike the usual meeting, this included the entire development staff (I was assistant dean/director of development at the Law Center) and the University VP. It was a full day planning meeting. The day before, the Red Sox completed an 8 game winning streak to tie the Yankees after being three games back with 8 games to (and after having blown a 14 game lead on New York). The single game play-off for the AL East play-off, the second such game in league history (The Red Sox lost the previous one, in 1948) was scheduled for 1 PM (I think) was scheduled Sunday afternoon and would be televised.

      Nothing would make me miss that game.

      The meeting started at 9, and was getting rolling as a working lunch began. I stood up, and said, Everyone, as you know I have followed my home team, the Boston Red Sox, this entire season, and it has come down to a final game this afternoon. It is starting in about an hour, and I have to leave. I apologize, but I was not going to be much assistance with this on my mind. I will see you all tomorrow. Go Red Sox.” And I left. The game was a killer, and one of the most emotional, nail-biting games ever. When the Red Spx lost, I went to bed.

      I never heard a word about it from any one , except my wife to be (two years later), who was there, and said the general reaction was 1) Amazement by those who didn’t know me, and amusement by those who did. 2) “Well, that was gutsy!” and 3) “Well, that’s Jack!”

      My boss at the Law Center, the Dean, said to me, “Well, you believe in being yourself, and in the end, that’s why I trust you.”

      I was fully prepared to be fired.

  14. Correct me if I am wrong but in the historical moment of WWII did not baseball continue? I have not been interested in professional sports for many of a decade. Therefore, I have nothing to boycott. But I would if I did.
    The outrageous salaries which lead to outrageous prices turned me off. When my father celebrated his 90th birthday. I wanted to gift him with seats at the then-new Yankee stadium. Dismayed, I was that seats on the ground level started at $5K. I did take him. We sat in the nosebleed sections paying $200 per seat. No child nor anyone on a fixed income can afford to provide these arrogant men the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.

    • It did, but over 500 major leaguers traded in their pinstripes/whatever for khakis, and those who remained were basically “the tall men against the fat men at the company picnic.” Many played service ball to entertain the troops. You’d think that after the PR disaster that was 1994 baseball, both players and management, would have learned a lesson about acting like divas. Most of us shrugged at the cancellation, it was September, so football season had started and baseball no longer mattered.

      Most of us also yawned in 04-05 at the NHL lockout that resulted in no Stanley Cup, hockey’s at best a niche sport and the players just don’t have the bargaining or star power they have in other sports. A good chunk of them aren’t even American, so many American fans feel very little attachment to them.

      In this case we’ve been without pro sports, or any other major entertainment, for five months. We discovered that, although it’s not as much fun, we can exist without it. The injection of Black Lives Matter into all pro sports and almost all entertainment might have looked impressive initially, when many of us believed this nation was headed toward a long-overdue racial justice reckoning. It no longer does, because BLM/Antifa has gone from a social justice movement that sometimes (actually often) stepped over the line, to a clear and present danger to public safety and emerging totalitarian militia.

      In normal times, sports give us something to root for and unite behind, and sports and entertainment give us something to look forward to and reward ourselves for the hard work we do most of the time. However, these are not normal times, and if you don’t know why I’m not the one to tell you. I’m not that interested in whether my team will win the pennant when I’m dreading certified mail – not the kind that tells me my stock certificates have arrived safely or that my great uncle has left me some valuable something in his will, the kind that tells me I’m I’m about to be furloughed, or my unemployment benefits are about to reach their limit, or my landlord is bringing an action to dispossess me because the moratorium on evictions is about to be lifted. I could care less whether the home team will play tonight when after five months there’s still a deadly virus out there that could kill me or members of my family very easily and we’re no closer to a vaccine than we were on day one. I really don’t care about social justice when a cell phone call or a text message could bring 200 angry activists to burn down my house and kill me (after this week now it’s about taking lives, not destroying property).

      It honestly doesn’t matter that the arena and the NJPAC are both going to stand silent until the end of this year and maybe beyond. At this point I’m more thankful that I can finally get a haircut, that I don’t have to eat every damn meal at home or brownbag it, and that basic toiletries are no longer as scarce as hen’s teeth. Someone needs to tell these babies with bates and balls that they aren’t that important.

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