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The MLB Still Hasn’t Learned Its Lesson on Woke Virtue Signaling

AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan

Rob Manfred MLB

For a moment in time, it appeared as though Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred understood that it was not his role to pontificate on politics and that the days of MLB’s flirtation with wokeism might be coming to an end.

“We have always tried to be apolitical,” Manfred said at the 2021 World Series in response to the tidal wave of criticism following his decision to move that year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta on account of Georgia’s election integrity law, which was cynically derided as “Jim Crow 2.0” by Democrats and progressives in the media for much of last year.

“Obviously, there was a notable exception this year,” Manfred continued. “I think our desire is to try to avoid another exception to that general rule. We have a fanbase that’s diverse, has different points of view, and we’d like to keep the focus on the field, on the game.”

Those comments were, of course, entirely appropriate—and they likely reflect the only reasonable attitude for a professional sports league to adopt when it comes to hot-button political matters. After all, baseball has long been hailed as America’s national pastime. For decades, the sport has transcended political, cultural, and social divides and stood as an abiding source of unity and common culture among Americans of all backgrounds, ideas, and political persuasions.

As Manfred acknowledged, the 2021 All-Star Game incident marked a significant aberration from this tradition. But should baseball fans take him at his word when he vows that, going forward, MLB will remain “apolitical” and “keep the focus on the field?”

More than two months into the 2022 baseball season, all signs point to no.

Over the course of the last month alone, nearly every MLB franchise has once again embraced the politics of wokeism, from gun control to gender ideology. With Manfred as commissioner, it seems the league is still fast becoming yet another cultural pulpit for the tenets of left-wing progressivism.

For instance, following the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, late last month, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays teamed up to “offer facts” about the “gun problem”—often using nebulous left-wing buzzwords like “assault weapon” while citing openly progressive sources. In one particularly perplexing tweet about racial disparities in gun-related incidents, the Yankees referred to so-called “Latinx people,” a term primarily used by white leftist ideologues and academics but overwhelmingly rejected by the Hispanic and Latino population.

In another astonishingly tone-deaf post, the Yankees tweeted that “4.5 million women in the US today report having been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner”—apparently ignoring the fact that the team’s closer, Aroldis Chapman, allegedly fired a gun “at least eight times” in a 2015 domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Nevertheless, the Yankees signed him to an $86 million five-year contract in 2017, followed by a three-year $48 million extension.

Gabe Kepler, manager of the San Francisco Giants, also weighed in on the matter: “Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self-congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place,” he wrote on his blog. During a May 27 gaggle with the press, Kepler promised to remain off the field for the National Anthem “until I feel better about the direction of our country”—a performative pledge he broke just three days later on Memorial Day.

But the MLB’s descent into toxic progressive politics extends far beyond gun control.

After years of incrementally embracing “pride month” events, flaunting rainbow-themed uniforms and social media campaigns, and subtly nodding to the radical ideas embedded in the transgender movement, MLB now appears to be fully immersed in the dogmas of gender ideology. 29 of the 30 teams in the league (the Texas Rangers are the one exception) are now hosting “pride nights” at the ballpark, and more and more teams are wearing rainbow uniforms.

But in what is likely the most shocking display of Major League Baseball’s newfound alliance with gender ideology activists, the Detroit Tigers this year are allowing fans to “support a local Pride organization of your choice” when purchasing tickets for their annual “pride night”—several of which actively promote irreversible medical “sex change” operations for children. The Ruth Ellis Center, for example, provides “transition care for transgender youth,” including so-called “gender-affirming surgery.” The Trans Sistas of Color Project, another organization on the Tigers’ list, funds groups that perform “chest reconstruction and genital reassignment surgery” and advocate for “empowering transgender youth to make their own decisions regarding puberty blockers.”

Thankfully, pushback against these extreme measures is beginning to mount. Earlier this month, several players on the Tampa Bay Rays refused to wear uniforms with “pride” logos, citing their religious convictions. Furthermore, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a $35 million Rays spring training facility in Odessa, Florida, following the team’s gun control virtue-signaling.

But will actions like these be enough for figures like Manfred to finally get the message? Is there any remaining hope that baseball can indeed remain America’s favorite pastime, free from left-wing radicalism and partisan divisions?

Following the announcement that MLB would move its 2021 All-Star game out of Atlanta last April, Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, took to Twitter to rail against the decision. “Few sights in the world are more beautiful than our flag waving over the diamond as the anthem plays. Baseball is the American Sport,” he wrote—and the “essence of the American spirit.”

As such, he continued, baseball “has a deep, even sacred, responsibility to ensure the sport remains the inheritance of all Americans—no matter their party or politics. It must be above the petty & partisan.”

But Manfred, Miller went on, has “opened the Pandora’s Box to the hyper-politicization of one of our last truly unifying civic rituals. Those who love & cherish baseball must reclaim the sport for all citizens.”

If Manfred truly wishes for baseball to retain its hallowed status as the national pastime and to “keep the focus on the field,” as he pledged last fall, he has no choice but to reverse course—and quickly.

But given MLB’s rampant escalation of woke politics just this year alone, baseball fans should not hold their breath.

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1 month ago

Please STOP saying “woke.” It’s already tired, and it sounds stupid.

1 month ago

Baseball used to be a great way to spend the afternoon with your family. For lhe last several years, baseball has srayed so far left, I don’t know if I’m at a ball game or a left wing liberal rally. Stopped going to pro games over 3 years ago, refuse to watch it on TV, and leave restaurants who have this sorry excuse of sports on TV. Frankly it’s time for the MLB to go the way of the dodo bird. You want to see real baseball, go see the kids play at your county parks, high schools, and college. No politics there

1 month ago


2 months ago

Nothing is going to stop this stupidity until the management involved is forced out. I played baseball, I have coached baseball and have watch major league baseball ever since I was old enough to understand the game.I hoped this year the game would return, but that seems doubtful so, I will just give it up again this year. I will not go to another baseball game. I won’t watch it on TV, which means I won’t be watching those $150,000, 30 second, commericals, or purchasing form those advertisers products. I also won’t be buying any memorabilia or player endorced products either. I will also ask my family and friends to do the same. I will boycot baseball until it returns to a sport instead of an political tool for power hungry leftist elitist and Commissioner Rob Manfred is no longer involved in the MLB!This is a sad situation, but there is one benefit, because of the lack of planning and out of control stupid running of our government for the past year and a half, the money I would have been spending on baseball and related items can helping with the out of control inflation costs for basic needs and higher gas prices.I will miss it but I am not one of those ignorant people that think anything the MLB is doing is being done to help them. Manfred is getting paid you can bet on that!

Richard Minetti
2 months ago

I’ve given up watching sports since these elites think they can rule the world! I’m a conservative and always will be!! Taking that game out of Georgia was the crowning blow!

And you know anyone in that state must show identity evidence to do a lot of other things like withdraw money from a bank account so what’s so bad about having proof of identity to vote? That legislation was intended to reduce fraud and MLB apparently condones fraud! And it’s not voting requirements are not their responsibility!

I spend my time now doing more productive less sedentary activities!! Lots more healthy!!u

2 months ago

Keep your MLB, NBA , NHL, etc. I do NOT need these organizations any more than they need me.

Beagle Boy
2 months ago
Reply to  Luke

That’s just the point. These Organizations do need “You” much more than you need them. Less fans means less revenue. Less revenue means less capital to pay self aggrandizing players and managers ridiculous salaries. Don’t sell yourself short. At some point you may need a Doctor, Lawyer or a Minister. At no point will you ever need a pompous Professional Athlete.

1 month ago
Reply to  Beagle Boy


1 month ago
Reply to  Beagle Boy

Just did a ???????? and a row of ? appeared-again…Thank you Beagle Boy

1 month ago
Reply to  Beagle Boy

Whatever…so emoji’s do not “take”

2 months ago

WOKE needs to go! If you’re a WOKE you are a disrespectful individual!

Paul Schwerdt
2 months ago

If Vin Scully, a devout Catholic and inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame, were still announcing Dodger games, I’d love to see MLB’s reaction the moment he said he wouldn’t be a part of this woke intrusion into the game and refused to announce while it lasted.

2 months ago

Well, another professional sport that is NOT going to be watched in my home!!!! Manfred’s decision in 2021 showed he has no backbone and will not stand up for his own convictions. Manfred, you know what is right and wrong!!!! Man up and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”

2 months ago

How about we support this. GO WOKE GO BROKE. So sick of this BS. They don’t even apologize when they are wrong.

Bill C
2 months ago

Men and women being paid obscene salaries to play with balls have perverted the the cultural value of sports everywhere. Not that pro sports were ever a shining example of civility or fair play to begin with. Let’s see what happens to those fat salaries when the ticket sales plummet! They can all go play with themselves. I won’t even watch them on TV. Go woke, go broke!

Rose Jones
2 months ago

I am a St Louis Cardinals fan and when the Cardinals started putting BLM, Black Lives Matter on their field and supporting this evil organization that hates God and wants to remove Him from everything in this country, who push for destruction of the family, and who are hateful and destructive, I stopped watching and listening to the games, I refused to have anything to do with them. Wokeism is pure evil and it needs to be called out as thus! Those who believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior, need to stand boldly and to speak truth only against all this evil in our land, refusing to give into fear when threats are made! Jesus tells us “He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power and of a sound mind”!! God will be with His people!!!

2 months ago
Reply to  Rose Jones


Tom P
2 months ago

Major league sports can kiss my a**! I used to watch them to be entertained. Then Krapernick ruined the NFL and there went 12, sometimes 15 hrs. a week I gave up watching. Then Bubba Smollett ruined NASCAR, so now we don’t watch any races anymore. Major League Baseball pulled their woke crap by pulling out of Atlanta for the All-Star game, so now we don’t watch almost daily baseball games. Used to have ESPN on all the time as the go to channel to find out what was going on or even as background noise. No more. And forget spending another dime at any live event. I don’t need to be lectured to from some overpaid babies. I’m sure me not watching won’t put a dent in their woke pocket books, but at least I feel better!

Rose Jones
2 months ago

The Detroit Tigers are advocating for pedophilia, which is what pushing kids into sex changes and into transgenderism is all about!! If I were a mom and/or dad who had previously attended the games with my children, I would STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!! As a parent it is your first priority, to protect your children from all evil!!! Pedophiles will abound at the games searching for children to victimize! Parents: STAY AWAY FROM THE DETROIT TIGERS GAMES!!! Don’t listen to them or watch them either!!! Turn your back on them. Choose wholesome things to enjoy with your children instead!!!

David Block
2 months ago

Baseball is not the game I fell in love with in the late 40’s. Players being paid multi million dollar contracts that raise ticket prices and concession prices to levels that even middle class families can’t afford is a disgrace.

2 months ago

Thank goodness Major League Baseball is a dying sport in the USA! Wokeism will only hasten it’s death.

2 months ago

The Communist Party continues to crap on America. Whoever joins this excrement party will never see a dime from me going forward.

2 months ago
Reply to  Becky

I agree 100%! Politics do not belong in sports or corporations. You wanna dis the flag that’s your right but ya ain’t gonna get even one cent from me!

2 months ago

Boycott anything that supports “wokeism”. This is the politics of the socialist leftists

2 months ago

duh!!!!! Where’s the disinformation police? America is barely in the top 10 of countries with mass shootings per capita. Sure won’t see them correct left wing propaganda.

Bill C
2 months ago
Reply to  pete

Great point Pete! Most of the EU doesn’t even arm beat cops, only special tactical teams, which has allowed countless casualties to occur unabated. France is one such country and one of the most pacifist nations in Europe. Wikipedia will show you a list of 13 such events in recent history. If the Dems and RINOs in Congress have their way, there won’t be any good guys with guns to stop the carnage!

2 months ago

Boycott MLB and let these woke idiots suffer financially.

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