Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | April 10, 2003

Baseball Hall of Fame cancels Sarandon appearance

My long-time readers know that I am a baseball fanatic. I attend at least 40 major league baseball games a season, diligently follow the Cubs and the A's, play fantasy baseball, and umpire little league games.

I never realized that the game of baseball was a political entity. In my mind, it always transcended partisanship, or religion, or race or just about any of the artificial barriers that divide us as a people. I could sit in the Wrigley Field bleachers or the Oakland Coliseum with Republicans and Satanists and anything else, but as long as you rooted for my team, it didn't matter what you did or how you looked or who you voted for.

But I guess I was wrong. The Hall of Fame, led by Reaganite Dale Petroskey, has cancelled festivities honoring the 15th anniversary of seminal baseball flick Bull Durham. The reason? Susan Sarandon, a star in the movie, is now a strident opponent of our war against Iraq.

This is galling, to say the least. And the letter cancelling the event was beyond the pale:

"In a free country such as ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions, and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms much larger than the average American's, which provides you an extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly," Petroskey wrote.

"We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict.

So now the Baseball Hall of Fame is determining what sort of speech is "responsible". Precious.

Tim Robbins, Sarandon's partner, wrote back, noting that he didn't realize baseball was "a Republican sport." Neither did I. Such naivety on my part.

You can email the Hall of Fame at info@baseballhalloffame.org. The phone number (which no one answered when I called), is (607)547-0215.

Posted April 10, 2003 08:45 AM | Comments (254)


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