web analytics
August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Politicizing Our National Pastime


Most critics of The New York Times are well aware of the liberal bias on its news pages that is as pronounced as the leftward slant on its opinion pages. But the Gray Lady’s sports section is just as bad.

In the past several years, the “Sports of the Times” has had two egregious examples of politicized coverage. One was the campaign for changes at the private golf club that hosts the Masters tournament. The other was its disgraceful coverage of the rape accusations lodged against the Duke lacrosse team.

Long after the rest of the media acknowledged the Duke story was a hoax, the Timescontinued piling on the falsehoods. After the dust settled and there was no longer even a shadow of doubt about the innocence of the young men the Timesreporters and columnists had done their best to besmirch, there were no apologies.

Being the Timesand imbued with a sense of high liberal moral purpose means you never have to say you’re sorry.

So it was hardly surprising to see the Times lead its sports section last Saturday with a highly politicized piece by author Jonathan Mahler seeking to incite protests against the Major League Baseball All-Star Game next month.

Mahler’s problem with the Summer Classic is that it is being held at the home ballpark of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We’re told that’s a bad thing because Arizona passed a law calling for local law enforcement agencies to ask people (already being questioned about possible misbehavior) about their immigration status.

The law may be unnecessary, but it is neither racial profiling nor a modern equivalent of Jim Crow. Even those of us who believe illegal immigration is not a lethal threat to the nation believe the laws concerning entry into the country should be enforced.

But the law, which has yet to be enforced due to court challenges, offends the sensibilities of some Hispanics. That is enough for some to justify a boycott of the entire state until it cries uncle the way it did 20 years ago over its resistance to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Hispanic contribution to our national pastime has been enormous. It is even more important these days since so many Americans seem to have abandoned baseball for basketball and football. Yet Mahler considers baseball insufficiently politically correct on Hispanic issues especially when compared to the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.

As Mahler notes, Hispanic players had a tough time for many years but the sometimes unhappy history of their experience (which was never as bad as the discrimination suffered by African-Americans) would not justify the sport intervening in the Arizona case as Mahler suggests.

The author is determined to build a case against Major League Baseball, but at times blames it for things that are the faults of others. Recent scandals about the recruitment of players in Latin America were actually the fault of local Hispanics, not greedy gringos, who exploited and lied about prospects.

The problem with his piece, as well as his whole argument, is that it is premised on an assumption based on a political point of view he merely assumes but does not prove. Some Hispanic players may disagree with the Arizona law, but does that, as Mahler seems to imply, mean all of baseball must agree or be guilty of racism?

Most Americans support enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, including the Arizona statute. If baseball were to take sides on one side of that battle, what would Mahler have players do who disagree with a boycott of Arizona?

Mahler’s attempt to analogize the disagreement over the Arizona law with the breaking of baseball’s color line also doesn’t hold up. As he himself notes, this is the 100th anniversary of the first Hispanics to play in the big leagues. Nor is there any comparison between Jackie Robinson and the late Roberto Clemente, who was a great player and died tragically but does not deserve the same place in both baseball and American history that Robinson does.

Americans can disagree on what should be done about illegal immigration, but the best place to hash that out is in the halls of legislatures, the courts and most of all the ballot boxes. Despite the desire of the Times to incite division and anger, baseball should stand clear of that fight.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at Commentary’s Contentions blog, where this originally appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Politicizing Our National Pastime”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
#BurnISISFlagChallenge
Burn Your ISIS Flag Today [video] #BurnISISFlagChallenge
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from Jonathan S. Tobin
Bomb Shelter

One of the key talking points by apologists for Hamas in the current conflict is that it isn’t fair that Israelis under fire have bomb shelters while Palestinians in Gaza don’t have any. Among other factors, the lack of shelters accounts in part for the differences in casualty figures between the two peoples. But somehow […]

Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine.

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

Nothing short of a stroke that will decapitate the leadership of this group will convince the Arabs that Hamas has made a mistake.

Z STREET will have the ability to compel IRS officials to testify as to their practices and produce all records.

“Death of Klinghoffer” opera frames the issue as Israel’s existence being the real crime.

Palestinian leaders claim the kidnapping is an Israeli hoax or the act of Jewish criminals rather than terrorists.

If Peres has outlasted some of his critics and is still considered popular, he cannot outrun history.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/politicizing-our-national-pastime/2011/06/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: