Culture

Rabbi Calls for Baseball Boycott Until MLB Disengages from Hate-Filled Politics of BLM

Members of Washington Nationals kneel and hold a piece of black fabric before an opening day baseball game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

For most of my life, I have agreed with Roger Hornsby, who said that when there is no baseball, he “stares out the window and waits for spring.” That has now changed, and MLB will no longer be watched or supported in my home, and I encourage every person of reason to boycott baseball until it steps away from the hate of Black Lives Matter and returns to being America’s national pastime. 

There are no questions about the general hate and specific anti-Semitism, anti-nuclear family rhetoric, and anti-American values of BLM, which are elucidated in BLM’s own manifesto. To quote Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, BLM “is avowedly neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-individualist, anti-democratic and anti-American. It wishes to erase and rewrite America’s history, destroy and rebuild her institutions, and overthrow her political system. In short, it seeks to remake the entire country in its own image.”  It is devoted to anti-Semitism, and its very charter calls for the destruction of Israel, calling it an “apartheid nation…committing genocide.”

And yet, Major League Baseball placed the BLM logo on the pitchers’ mounds on Opening Day.

Instead of MLB bringing people together through honest sports competition, baseball has now become like the 1936 Olympics in Berlin: an opportunity for the politics of hate to become more important than the athletic competition. Dr. King taught that we should all judge people “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” and Jackie Robinson said, “I’m not concerned with you liking or disliking me…all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” BLM as an organization, as well as its local and national leaders, is committed to its agenda rather than the content of a person’s character. They have no respect for anyone who thinks differently than they do. It is an organization founded on racist hate.

And yet, Major League Baseball sanctioned players having BLM patches on their uniforms.

The hate of BLM leaders is especially fraught with anti-Semitism: calling for the destruction of Israel, repeating ancient anti-Semitic tropes, and purposefully planning their riots in Jewish neighborhoods. Melina Abdullah, the head of BLM Los Angeles and a devotee of hate-monger Louis Farrakhan (a man who has called Jews “termites” and desires the death of Jews, homosexuals, and any whites not willing to agree with him) proudly admits that she chose these Jewish neighborhoods for their marches and riots so that the people there would feel pain. It is difficult to understand how MLB can support this hate-filled anti-Semitic organization, especially given that so many Jews are involved in baseball, ranging from executives like Paul Godfrey (Toronto Blue Jays), the Lerner family (Washington Nationals), Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago White Sox), Lewis Wolff (Oakland Athletics) and Jon Daniels (Texas Rangers) to players such as Alex Bregman, Joc Pederson, and Max Fried to name a few.

And yet, Major League Baseball promoted an anti-Semitic organization to fans, especially children, via TV and online broadcasting.

One of the strengths of the “cancel culture” is that it has demonstrated how effective a boycott can be. If enough of us refuse to watch Major League Baseball (on TV or especially online, where data is easily tracked) until MLB officially refuses to promote or even allow political endorsements of the hate-filled BLM organization on the ball field, the advertisers will pay less for their ads, the teams will lose income, and the owners will be guided into getting baseball out of politics and back into athletics exclusively. But it will take a large and noticeable effort, and the conviction to temporarily give up our beloved sport, to get owners to decide that baseball belongs on the field—separate and away from any politics, especially from supporting an organization of hate like BLM.

I enjoin each of us to push our beloved baseball back into the arena of home runs and outs, and pray that we will soon return to a national pastime that is devoid of politics—and where people are not judged by the color of their skin, the politics of their party, or their religion, but rather are respected for the content of their character and their ability on the field.

Until then, I will stay away from MLB and hope I am joined by many others as we “stare out the window” waiting for baseball without hate-filled politics to return.

Rabbi Michael Barclay is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, CA. (www.NerSimcha.org) and the author of “Sacred Relationships:  Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together”.  He can be reached directly at [email protected]