Here is a bold proclamation that will spur debate among sports fans: Baseball is the greatest sport in the history of the world. Like a game of chess, baseball is comprised of strategy. Every pitch is a tactical maneuver to prevent the hitter from reaching base, stop a runner from advancing, or ensure the bullpen can reach the next order of the lineup without damage. Every at-bat also requires a specific tactic: the sacrifice, the squeeze, and beating the shift.
Baseball is truly a beautiful game. But now the left wants to ruin America’s pastime with social justice.
Recently writing in The New York Times, columnist Michael Powell maintained the newspaper’s white hate and applied it to Major League Baseball in an opinion piece titled “With a Loud Ovation, Baseball Shows Its Whiteness.” As is typical from the Grey Lady, it was filled with vacuous polemics.
The op-ed, continuing the leftist tradition of slamming white people, treating minorities as if they were little children, and showcasing some level of superiority, griped about black people not attending games. Initiating his wretched op-ed by alluding to Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher Josh Hader’s questionable tweets about the KKK and white power when he was a teenager, Powell suggested that MLB has a white problem – one can only imagine the outcry if he swapped “MLB” with “NBA” and “white” with “black.”
He also quoted veteran outfielder, Curtis Granderson, who said he and his black teammates count “the black people in the stands who weren’t working at the game.” He revealed “sometimes it would take us seven innings to count 10.” This prompted Powell to play a similar game, as if black people are an anomaly and should be routinely treated as social science experiments.
“I played my version when the Cubs played in the 2016 World Series. Come the fourth inning, I walked from Wrigley Field’s ancient press box to the farthest reaches of right field. My goal was to count every black fan I saw. I found two sitting hard by the right field fence.”
He then finished:
“Like Chicago, New York is a majority minority city. Yet you can sit in the stands at Wrigley or Citi Field some nights and it looks like 1955. In Milwaukee the other night, it even sounded like 1955.”
Talk about trying to find problems that aren’t there.
Black Attendance is Not an Issue
Fortunately, we live in a free society where people can do what they like as long as they do not impose their will on others. This also means individuals can choose to attend MLB games or not – and, yes, this applies to blacks as well; they are not being banned from ballparks.
It is befuddling as to why black people do not attend baseball games. They just don’t. As long as they are not prohibited from attending a Baltimore Orioles-Kansas City Royals classic, then this shouldn’t even be a problem. It’s similar to East Asians not appearing at too many hockey games or Hispanics not going to a curling match, but no one is complaining about this trend.
The left may detest the idea, but people can and do make their own choices and have their own interests, even if it is contradictory to what the social engineers want. So, why thrust it upon us?
Another element to remember is that overall MLB attendance is down, and it has been that way for a few years now. The league has seen average attendance numbers tumble 6.5% during the 2018 season and have fallen to their lowest levels since 2003, when the Florida Marlins won the World Series.
Ostensibly, it isn’t just the black population that is shunning baseball.
Before a leftist shrieks that it’s because ticket prices are too expensive, and, thus, pricing out black consumers, it is important to point out that MLB games are the cheapest tickets in town, especially compared to other major leagues. Here are the average ticket prices for sports leagues as of 2016:
- NFL: $92.98
- NHL: $62.18
- NBA: $55.88
- MLB: $31.00
Some ballparks, especially ones that house depressing teams, are offering discounts and promotions to attract fans. For example, the Orioles are extending free tickets to children, while the Toronto Blue Jays sell $15 tickets – or less – to sit in the bleachers.
Teams are doing what they can to bring in fans of all colors and creeds. John Henry, the Ricketts, and Derek Jeter do not care if you’re white or black. It’s all about the green and the butts in seats.
MLB is Already a Diverse Sport
Fan representation may not indicate it, but baseball is already quite diverse: 55% are white, 30% are Hispanic, 10% are black, and 5% are Asian. Even the top players in baseball are diverse: Mike Trout (white), Mookie Betts (black), J.D. Martinez (Hispanic), and Shohei Ohtani (Asian).
And this all happened from spontaneous order.
Athletes with different backgrounds came from all over the world to converge at Fenway Park, Citi Field, Comerica Park, and Kauffman Stadium to play a beautiful game. There wasn’t a social justice initiative, a government mandate, or a movement to install a quota system. People will want to play baseball or attend a game, or they don’t. Why should we whine about who and who isn’t interested in baseball?
If you don’t want to witness Chris Sale’s nasty slider, the Tampa Bay Rays abandon tradition, and veteran Nick Markakis become one of the league’s best hitters again, then that’s your loss.