Donald Trump popped in at Game 4 of the World Series like a deadbeat ex-husband, who shows up uninvited at a family reunion.
He spoiled the evening and turned the national pastime into a cheap political stunt.
The host team Atlanta Braves either willfully or simply out of ignorance gave the architect of the bloody Jan. 6 Insurrection a national platform at a time when he’s a pariah on social media for spreading hate, division and rampant misinformation.
The man admittedly revels in the fact he’s single-handedly reduced the nation to warring factions by continuing to spread the “Big Lie,” claiming the 2020 election was rigged against him when nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s one thing to accord due respect to a former president, but the twice-impeached leader of the nation’s only attempt to overthrow our democracy in a political coup is thoroughly discredited. If there’s any doubt about that, just read The Washington Post’s eye-opening investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
He’s the antithisis of what baseball and sports are all about–to bring people together and teach valuable lessons such as respect, teamwork, selflessness, perseverance, accountability and consequences.
Instead, the Braves and major league baseball have taken their own place on a seemingly never-ending list of professional and collegiate sports willing to destroy their legacies and embarrass themselves on the national stage, all for a photo op with the most vile American to ever come down the pike.
To make matters worse, Trump invited himself! Then, said he was invited! Later reports claim New York Yankees Organization president Randy Levine provided the tickets.
“Of course we said yes,” Braves GM Terry McGuirk replied to ESPN’s Hannah Keyser when asked about Trump’s request to attend.
He said it so matter-of-factly, it was almost as if he was expecting the majority of us to agree with, and/or understand, his team’s beyond obtuse decision.
Of course, he should have said “no.”
What about the half-million or so departed souls Trump’s personally responsible for through his incompetence and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic? And, what about the brave Capitol police who died or were injured during the attack on our nation’s Capitol?
Where was a moment of silence to honor them?
Suddenly, McGuirk’s words ring hollow.
At least teams like The Nationals, Penguins, Capitols, Astros, Cubs, Patriots, LSU, Clemson, Alabama sidled up to the corrupt president while he was still in the White House.
The Braves are not only the first pro team to welcome this national pariah after Jan. 6th., but they also did so at a time when Trump continues to foment shameless daily attacks on our Democracy.
Trump was desperate for the legitimacy of a World Series appearance just like Hitler at the 1936 Olympics.
Every team reserves the right to refuse entry to any fan who poses a threat to others’ safety and enjoyment of the game. Then why wouldn’t the same rule apply to a violence-inciting, pandemic-ignoring former president.
McGuirk could have just as easily said he was asked not to attend because it would be a major distraction to the players and the game and unduly politicize what’s supposed to be a national pasttime for all Americans.
Rest assured, Trump’s attendence was an afront to a majority of Americans who voted him out of office and all those who have needlessly lost loved ones in the pandemic and riot.
Instead we were treated to a buffoonish, narcicisstic, sociopath, waving to the crowd and saying “Look at me!”
As bad as the episode was, the Braves organization singularly erased all the good will Major League Baseball engendered when it moved the All-Star game out of Georgia to protest voter suppression.
It’s hard to believe the Braves could be so tone deaf, especially when Trump did everything he could to subvert the vote in Georgia and is under investigation there for alleged election fraud.
Don’t The Braves have the slightest concern for the message this sort of spineless capitulation sends to the millions of kids out there?
After all, isn’t the reason we teach our kids to play sports in the first place about building character? About honor and sacrifice? And, above all, about LOSING-WITH-DIGNITY?
What the heck is wrong with us? Do we not care about the world we’re going to leave for our children? Or the one we have to live in while we’re here? When will we, as a nation, stand up and stop rewarding/condoning cowardice, shamelessness and depravity?
Sadly, the list doesn’t stop with sports teams. It’s pretty much everywhere you look. Who can forget the shameless ratings grab by The Emmys and Dancing with the Stars giving Sean Spicer – the Liar-in-Chief’s first mouthpiece – nationwide airtime, while making a mockery of accountability and truth?
Or, just days ago, the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal playing dumb and offering a dozen laughable explanations as to why they chose to publish an essay of Trump’s lies in its entirety?
How about corporations like Southwest, Dell, and others that stayed silent while Texas took away a woman’s right to control her own body? Or AT&T/DirecTV happily providing $90 million and a platform for One America News, a 24/7 cesspool of lies and misinformation that makes Fox News look tame by comparison?
This willingness to ignore, excuse, and/or encourage such deplorable actors and their acts is no longer acceptable.
It only serves to reinforce those who are tearing at the fabric of our Democracy. As if we don’t have enough lunatics in our state, local, and federal government doing enough of that already.
Trump and his cult of personality long ago crossed the line of partisan politics and are now actively working to overthrow our democracy and install minority rule in perpetuity through widespread voter supression.
The time has passed to write off his actions as simply playing politics. This is an assault on our cultural values. This is the stuff of dictatorship.
Major league baseball and every other sport needs a reality check. Their actions-as well as inaction-matters.
These self-important CEO’s, apathetic sports franchises, clueless athletes and ignorant celebrities are ultimately betting against themselves. They may wake up one day and find the rules of the game changed in a country that no longer exists.