Friday, July 6, 2012

Fans Need to Self Police

Headlines of vile speech (65 years after Jackie Robinson broke in with the Dodgers) continue to shock.
We just completed celebrating the 4th of July.  The Declaration of Independence states, in part, that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and John Lackey et al. have been endowed with special skills to which our society has assigned an inordinate value.  One can certainly question whether we have gone over the top in paying such astronomical sums to professional athletes and entertainers.  (By way of comparison in 1967 the entire 25 man roster of the pennant winning Boston Red Sox was paid less than $500,000 -- about the current major league minimum for one MLB player).  And when these players receive such incredible amounts (Bobby Jenks received $12 million and pitched a total of 15+ innings for the Red Sox) fans (and ownership) should expect an effort both on and off the field that is commensurate with the remuneration.  If the effort as measured by the results is woefully inadequate (push yourself away from those chicken wings in the clubhouse guys), then fans are within bounds to express their displeasure.  

So cheer for your favorite or voice your displeasure when you are so moved.  But please, do so in recognition of the fact that each one of us is entitled to be judged by our performance and by how we comport ourselves in pursuing our chosen craft.  And no one has license to contaminate the field with invective.  One can only hope that fans take it upon themselves to police the intolerant and ignorant among us so that headlines of this sort can truly become historical references.

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