Colin Kaepernick Comes for Baseball - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Colin Kaepernick Comes for Baseball
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler (YouTube screenshot)

The America-the-Terrible disease has now invaded baseball, the sport that to this point had mostly avoided the current race obsession that threatens to turn the American melting pot into a pressure cooker.

In a Monday evening exhibition game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, Giants manager Gabe Kapler and several of his players and coaches took a knee or otherwise signaled their belief in what a racist country America is during the playing of the National anthem. Various other teams and players have signaled their intention to go along with the insanity when MLB begins play this week and signal in various ways their disapproval of the country that has made them wealthy and privileged beyond their wildest dreams.

Aggressive left politics, based on the transparent and slanderous lie that America is systematically racist, may finally kill the finest game the mind of God and man has ever devised.

Before Monday only one Major League player, a scrub Oakland A’s catcher no longer in the bigs, had knelt during the anthem. This fellow, known more for his politics than his baseball skills, was last seen in the bigs in 2018 when he hit a buck-82 in 18 games. I had prayed that left-wing politics would not metastasize to baseball. But clearly I was dreaming. The Left eventually comes for everyone and everything. And it has now come for baseball.

It appears my favorite game is following football and basketball into the political toilet. When left-wing politics took over football and basketball, I gave them up with hardly a withdrawal symptom. They are, after all, for me just placeholders to occupy some of my time between the end of the World Series and the beginning of spring training. They’ve given me some fine moments while not being essential. But this really hurts.

I’ve loved baseball — played it, watched it, read about it, talked about it, cared about it, man and boy. But if the price of admission now includes being told by players, coaches, and managers what racist scum I am and what a racist hell-hole the country I love is, then the guys can shove their sunflower seeds where the moon don’t shine. I’m out. And it breaks my heart.

Baseball has survived wars, a depression, drugs, crackpot team owners and commissioners, gamblers, steroids, and Howard Cosell. But aggressive left politics, based on the transparent and slanderous lie that America is systematically racist, whatever the hell that might mean, may finally kill the finest game the mind of God and man has ever devised. I pray this is just a case of temporary insanity, though I fear this disease may last longer than I will. There appears to be nothing — not one single thing — that the Left can’t destroy.

It’s hard to imagine what players, sports executives, and the sports reporters who enable them think they’re accomplishing with this highly offensive nonsense, other than driving fans out of sports arenas and TV viewers away from sports channels at game time. For millions of Americanos, sports have been a source of entertainment and a unifying force. People of all complexions and stations of life could all pull for, or against, the same teams. Doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate CEO or a janitor living in Pittsburgh, you could pull for, even live or die with, the Steelers. Now sports are becoming just another divisive arena for clashing politics and cat-5 resentments. And we’re much the poorer for it.

If these sports worthies believe they’re helping anyone by these pointless but irritating gestures, they’re wrong. Not a single black American’s life is one bit better because Giants manager Gabe Kapler took a knee during the National anthem Monday night. (Or, for that matter, because Aunt Jemima is off the pancake box.) Not one American Indian is better off because the Washington Redskins are no longer the Washington Redskins, or because a virtue-signaling Baseball commissioner sent Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo back to the reservation.

That guy in his living room with the TV remote in his hand on Sunday afternoon after a hard week’s work is not looking for a political lecture, or a sermon on his shortcomings from athletes who will make more in that one Sunday afternoon than he will all year. He just wants to enjoy the #$%^&! game. He tunes in not for more politics, more controversy, more tendentiousness. He tunes in, at least partly, to escape all that for the length of the game. Why is this so damned hard for so many to understand?

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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