Gillette's Civil Rights Game in Cincinnati: Whoop-Di-Diddly-Doo
"Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and individual rights such as the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement."
That's a definition of civil rights from Wikipedia.
On Saturday night Cincinnati hosted it's second consecutive "Civil Rights Game."
Both the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals dressed in 1947 throwback jerseys and donned caps that read "Civil Rights Game" in honor of the year Major League Baseball broke it's color barrier.
Should the "Civil Rights Game" be a big deal in big league baseball? Absolutely.
But why does it solely focus on African-Americans? To give baseball credit, this year they did include female tennis icon, Billie Jean King.
Billie Jean King is also gay. No one commented on that part.
If a sport is going to hold a "Civil Rights Game" it should not limit itself.
Gender and race are only two of the scores of unjustifiable civil rights issues human beings have overcome, and are still overcoming.
Baseball simply does not get it. Or maybe, Gillette, the game's corporate sponsor just wants to keep it simple...and pretty.
Right now there are many more Hispanic players in the game than African-Americans.
Were they cited at all? No. Neither were any of the other players who come from foreign soil to play "America's past time."
To not even note the Cuban ballplayers who have risked their lives (some have died) escaping Communism in small boats is disgraceful.
Bud Selig, Major League Baseball's current commissioner, grew up in a Jewish family. Where was his name—or the 154 Jews who have played ball?
Curtis Pride was born deaf. He ended up playing 11 years in the big leagues. Were the physically challenged mentioned during the game? Nope.
Buddy Bell, a former member of the Cincinnati Reds, suffered a seizure disorder. Chicago White Sox first baseman Greg Walker once had a seizure on the field.
Jim Eisenreich had Tourette syndrome. Again, why weren't the physically challenged acknowledged?
Standing at only three feet and seven inches, Eddie Gaedel, had a plate appearance during the 1951 season. Were little people (formerly known as midgets) recognized? Again, no.
There have been loads of fat guys who have played the game. Where is their credit? According to the 2010 "Civil Rights Game" they must not exist.
Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige was 59-years old when he finally hung up the cleats. Why aren't people who are eligible for the senior citizen discount at Applebee's included during this so-called "Civil Rights Game?"
By the way, the Reds beat the Cards 4-3 on Saturday night in one of the most exciting games of the year. Sure, it was very cool to see some of the guys who once played in the old Negro Leagues.
It was just unfortunate that the game itself served as a backdrop.
If baseball wants to continue this silly charade, they should rename it the "African-American and Female Rights Game."
That...or allow an umpiring crew which would include a 500-pound transvestite at first base, a midget Asian female at second, a Hassidic Jew over at third, and a one-legged war veteran suffering PTSD sitting in a wheel chair calling the balls and strikes.
The crew would include a blind person, but since it seems many umps are already blind that would be redundant.
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