As I write this, the New York Yankees are pounding the Baltimore Orioles like it’s 2019. Nothing special about that.
What might be noteworthy is that the Yankees players are wearing “NYPD” or, some cases “FDNY,” on their caps in place of the team name. The message isn’t political. Rather, it’s in honor of what the City’s police and fire departments did 19 years ago on 9/11. No serious person disputes their heroism on that day.
Still, with America’s police departments under attack and facing threats of being defunded, it’s nice to see the Yankees honoring the NYPD in any context. It’s nice, also, to hear the Orioles’ announcers talking about how New York, and America generally, rallied after 9/11.
I’ve noted that baseball broadcasts, at least the many I’ve watched this season, have been almost entirely devoid of BLM propaganda — whether in the form of signs and stickers or preaching. MLB seems to understand that alienating conservatives and folks who simply don’t want to hear about politics when they watch sports is bad for business.
There’s also the fact that, unlike with pro basketball and football, most MLB players aren’t African-American. This reality puts less pressure on the commissioner to kowtow to BLM. (Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, is a genuine, committed leftist, but the fact that he’s the commissioner is probably attributable, in part, to the like-minded views of the players.)
Sports leagues face a choice. They can accommodate their pro BLM-leaning players or they can accommodate their non-leftist fans. They will be hard pressed to do both.
My guess is that they will accommodate the players for a little while and hope that the BLM fire burns out so they can go back to accommodating as many fans as possible. But the killing of black criminals by white cops (as well as by black ones), including rare cases in which the killing isn’t justified, won’t stop.