At a time when legendary baseball broadcaster Vin Scully should be enjoying retirement and accepting the well-deserved accolades of his life’s work, he recently blew it all to hell.
With one stupid, anti-American political quote earlier this month Scully went from being a savvy, funny, self-deprecating wise man to just another old guy on his porch yelling at those damn kids on his lawn.
On Saturday November 4, 2017 the soon to be 90-year-old Scully was at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium presenting an event called “An Evening with Vin Scully”.
When questioned about the NFL players who are protesting the sad state of racial relations and justice in the United States, Scully said that the protests have ruined football for him.
“I will never watch another NFL game”, Scully piously intoned. Because, you see, Vin Scully doesn’t approve of players not standing during the national anthem.
This is the same man who claims to have been a close friend of another baseball legend and pioneer, Dodger great Jackie Robinson.
In his 1972 autobiography Robinson wrote “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I know that I am a black man in a white world.”
So I’m confused; was Vinnie OK when his beloved friend did not stand for the anthem? Maybe it only annoys him when football players don’t stand.
The First Amendment of the US Constitution affirms the right of free speech for all Americans, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government to redress grievances.
Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. once wrote in an opinion that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”
Which means that protesting NFL players are exercising rights that millions of Americans in our military fight for, and for which hundreds of thousands died to preserve and protect.
And it also means that Vin Scully has the right to publicly criticize those protests.
The issue here is that well-heeled, advantaged white Americans, who know nothing about being black in America, become insufferable hypocrites when they casually dismiss what NFL players are trying to express.
And these self-appointed moral pundits are particularly odious when they wrap their uninformed opinions around the American flag.
The other point to be made here is the inexplicable need many well-known people have to publicly give their opinions about the latest social/political controversies.
To ask “Who cares?” doesn’t begin to express my energetic lack of interest in Vin Scully’s opinions about anything of significance beyond baseball.
But he got up off that chair on his porch, waved his cane high in the air, and acted like an old fool—and that’s really sad.
Because Vin Scully was a media icon who carved out a memorable 67-year broadcast career. And make no mistake, Scully was probably the best baseball broadcaster in the game’s history. Intelligent, cognizant of his audience, brilliantly prepared, and with the kind of sonorous voice that moves mountains.
But now he’s just another loudmouth on the sidelines, whining and complaining about something way above his knowledge level and paygrade.
What’s next? Vin Scully on the death penalty? Or how about Vinnie’s feelings about gun control in America after the next semi-automatic gun massacre? What about women’s rights and abortion, health care, and immigration?
Vin Scully apparently believed that America was waiting breathlessly for his play-by-play commentary about an issue that has divided our nation. And he struck out swinging.