Major League Baseball returned to the field last night and tonight
September 18, 2001 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Major League Baseball returned to the field last night and tonight with the American flag on the back of team uniforms, below the neck and on the batting helmets. But MLB players come from nations all over the world. Is there a problem with these players being required to wear an American flag when they would not be permitted to wear their own?
posted by whoshotwho (20 comments total)
While its a valid question, this is a uniquely American sport in an American crisis/tragedy and the decision was probably made by the owners and player's union.
posted by owillis at 9:07 PM on September 18, 2001

Until we hear from a foreign-born player who has a problem with it, I would have to say the answer is 'no'.
posted by darukaru at 9:07 PM on September 18, 2001

We all (sans indians) came from somewhere else. If they're playing baseball here then I'm sure they have citizenship...
posted by geoff. at 9:08 PM on September 18, 2001

We all [...] came from somewhere else.

Not me! According to my quote/unquote parents, I was mysteriously decanted into a spare bedroom one dark and stormy night.
posted by Opus Dark at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2001

It's an American (and National) leaque.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:16 PM on September 18, 2001

And they are playing in....oh yeah, America......
posted by nwduffer at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2001

not counting Toronto and Montreal of course...

except nobody goes to games in Montreal
posted by billder at 9:23 PM on September 18, 2001

There won't be any games in Montreal to go to at all soon enough, unless they've changed their minds lately.

I keep hearing they're moving to Nashville, Charlotte or Wash DC.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:29 PM on September 18, 2001

This is making an intellectual exercise out of nothing - it's no big deal that they wear the American flag. It's a US-based league.
posted by SiW at 9:45 PM on September 18, 2001

While looking over the web this week, I've found folks from many nationalities displaying the American flag on their pages, signatures, etc., as a symbol of their concern and feelings of unity with the U.S. over the tragedy. I'd imagine the non-American MLB players would be wearing it in quite the same spirit.

Not to sound melodramatic, but the world got a lot smaller last week, and it seems to me at least, things like worrying about whether you're wearing the correct flag just don't seem as important as it once did.
posted by digital_insomnia at 9:57 PM on September 18, 2001

I like this little flag in their nav bar: 17 stripes and 18 stars!
posted by jjg at 10:25 PM on September 18, 2001

being that they're in america, having their salaries paid by american fans -- i don't think they can bitch about it. of course ... i'd love to be there for any reaction towards someone that DID bitch about it.
posted by aenemated at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2001

Is it illegal to burn an American flag yet?
posted by pracowity at 11:55 PM on September 18, 2001

It would be a problem if baseball had its own Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the former NBA player who was suspended by the league for refusing to stand during the national anthem (he felt it conflicted with his Muslim beliefs). Mandatory demonstrations of patriotism are something that belongs in a dictatorship, not a free country.

However, I'd be surprised if any baseball player objected to these flags as a response to the attacks. Even the ones who aren't supportive of the United States have to be thinking that the terrorists could have chosen a baseball stadium as a target.
posted by rcade at 6:00 AM on September 19, 2001

Is it a problem that some people persist in trying to dredge up offense where none existed? Yup.

Riff #2: It's the World Series. And yet Japan doesn't get to participate. Is this a problem?
posted by luser at 6:26 AM on September 19, 2001

I do have to wonder if the Expos and Blue Jays are playing "God Bless America" in the 7th inning stretch... nothing on to say either way. Because I'd be glad to don the flag as a sign of solidarity, but for Canadians to be asked to sing "God Bless America, my home sweet home" strikes me as rather false.
posted by holgate at 7:16 AM on September 19, 2001

for Canadians to be asked to sing "God Bless America, my home sweet home"

I'd be amazed if many of them knew the lyrics. How many of us know more than the first couple lines of "O Canada"? Let alone whatever Canadian patriotic song is #2 on the list of Canadian patriotic songs.
posted by kindall at 8:04 AM on September 19, 2001

holgate: You're entirely correct. Again, to me, there's a difference between flags and patriotic songs -- the latter being a more of an oath of appreciation to your country rather than a symbol of where you were born.

Here in Detroit, the NHL exhibition season kicked off Monday with a game between the Red Wings and the New York Rangers. As appropriate for a sport where a majority of the players are Canadian, there were no renditions of "God Bless America." What they did however, is line up as one on the red line, Wing and Ranger alike, for the singing of the national anthem. Still makes me teary eyed thinking about it. :-}
posted by digital_insomnia at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2001

i went to the mets game tonight (their second since the attack) and i have never been more consumed by patriotism -- it felt wonderful. between almost every half-inning there was some sort of video tribute, either to the police, fire and EMS workers, or to the glory of america (ending with a beautiful shot of the towers) or whatever. people were waving flags and had them hanging from the railings. the flags at the top of the stadium were all american flags at half mast. the massive bud ad was replaced by a beautiful image of a flag. the crowd spontaneously broke into chants of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" several times.

typing it out it seems all a bit much, but it wasn't. it was fantastic. i was moved to tears several times.

everyone, everyone sang the anthem. everyone, everyone sang god bless america during the seventh inning stretch -- and then when the players started to take the field afterwards (without the usual 'take me out to the ballgame' and 'lazy mary') the stadium broke into an a capella take me out to the ballgame. then the regulars in my section (we're season ticket holders and have quite a sense of community and friendship) attempted lazy mary. and failed. joyously.

it didn't hurt that we beat the hated braves 7-3, but it felt so right to be there tonight.
posted by palegirl at 2:12 AM on September 23, 2001

> everyone, everyone sang the anthem. everyone,
> everyone sang god bless america during the seventh
> inning stretch

Or else.
posted by pracowity at 3:59 AM on September 23, 2001

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