With all of the athletes and entertainers out there signalling their hate for America, for the flag, utterly disrespecting and paying no care to the soldiers or police who protect us, I decided to take action. I don’t just say #DumpTheNFL, but I put my money where my mouth is, even when it’s painful for me to give up something I cherish.
Baseball is a lot harder for me than football, as it’s one of my main passions in life. I’ve written a novella, out next week, which is basically my love letter to baseball and to the Oakland A’s in particular. I’ve been a huge fan since I can remember. It pains me so much to have to take action based on a player’s bad behavior, and an organization condoning it, to ensure that my family stays safe from this toxic identity politics culture in entertainment. My letter which i sent to the ticket office and to A’s team president, Dave Kaval, is below:
I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this for a few days, as I love the A’s so much and love baseball. It’s upsetting and painful to have to make a decision that’s best for my family to remove us from a situation where it creates a hostile environment toward us and toward the country as a whole. This is why we will not be renewing season tickets for 2018.
I’ve been a season ticket holder since 2012, premium for the first time this year, and my parents were season ticket holders through my whole childhood. My fondest memory is being on my dad’s shoulders in the one game of the 1988 world series where the A’s won, celebrating and hoping for a comeback in the series. I hope the A’s will be able to come back to senses similarly so I can share that kind of joy with my kids now.
Unfortunately, with Bruce Maxwell’s recent actions, the A’s have signaled they’re going to bring baseball into politics. I’ve of course seen all the interviews and coverage, along with the excuses made, but at the end of the day the symbol of disrespect to America, the soldiers, and the police are there, no matter how it’s framed. Bruce has always been an outspoken political advocate — which I don’t fault him for. If he wants to do that on twitter or in his own actions, that’s his right. Sean Doolittle used to do similarly and I’m sure they’re both fine individuals. However, when I come to a game, it’s my time to relax and have fun, to show my family a good time, and especially to give my kids a dream. Disrespecting the flag and America in that context is harmful to the sport and enjoyment for two major reasons.
First, when the dream is injected with politics, it becomes impossible to enjoy. The magic is gone. We were at fireworks night not thinking about what a beautiful night it was and how good it is to be at a baseball game, but thinking that the A’s catcher is disrespecting America on the field in front of us, and our presence there condones that.
Second, I teach my kids to stand for the anthem, to do the pledge of allegiance. I can’t go to a game where they are looking starry eyed at their heroes who refuse to do as they are taught. Kids are the most important part of baseball, and they don’t need to be subjected to identity politics. It’s toxic, and it will ruin childhoods if they have to worry about the world in that manner. The only recourse I have when they ask questions, would be to explain to them that their heroes are behaving badly, and what does that do to a child’s psyche? I don’t want to inject that kind of nihilistic thoughts about there being no real heroes into their heads. They don’t need to be thinking about identity politics or race at three or five or eight. That is perhaps the most important reason why the A’s have to put a stop to this immediately.
Again, I love the A’s and I love baseball so much, but I love it for baseball, for the game, and not to have politics injected into everything 100% of the time. Our lives are already so stressful with the frantic pace in which we live these days, and the talk of “raising awareness” is laughable when you can’t escape from it. No one’s being made aware of anything, no one’s talking about whatever it is Bruce wants done, they’re just talking about the flag and the country. If Bruce has a message beyond that, he’s failed at it drastically, as have the other athletes.
It needs to stop. I don’t want Bruce fired , but I can’t in good conscience come to games where it’s going to open with toxic political preaching to me for the reasons above. Please, I implore you put an end to this before it destroys the sport of baseball. I have to choose America first if I’m forced with the choice at every game.
I wish you guys the best. The staff has been so phenomenal this year, down to the ushers. I really appreciate their hard work. I hope to be able to return to an A’s baseball game in the future, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to write this, and not return to the stadium for the coming year.
Jon Del Arroz