Craig: The myth of baseball’s depoliticalization

From Mary Craig at Beyond the Box Score on August 21, 2017:

Following the Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle both spoke and tweeted about the atrocities, calling it “white fear. It’s the worst kind of hatred. It’s disgusting” and stating “there is only one side,” in reference to the Trump administration’s reference to violence “on many sides” of the demonstration.

Of those members of major league baseball asked about the events, Doolittle gave by far the most unequivocal denunciation. His teammate and fellow UVA grad Ryan Zimmerman gave a more tepid, “neutral” response, stating the rally did not speak for the UVA community while asserting that he didn’t “really want to get into all that kind of stuff.” Although the display of white supremacy at Charlottesville sparked the Rays to partially fund the removal of a Confederate statue outside Tampa’s courthouse and led Red Sox principal owner John Henry to push for the re-naming of Yawkey Way, very few other members of the MLB community offered comment.

Brandon McCarthy somewhat vaguely tweeted about the incident, again pointing out the problem with the “both sides” rhetoric. Otherwise, players followed a long trend of staying silent on political issues.

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Originally published: August 21, 2017. Last Updated: August 21, 2017.