Baseball and who is American

Occasionally I write posts that have nothing to do with books and this is one of them. This is definitely not an uplifting post.

As many of you know from reading my posts, I’m a huge baseball fan and have been for many decades.Marc Anthony sings God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in New YorkTwo nights ago was the 2013 All-Star game that I watched on television, which was won by the American League. However it seems that many so- called “fans” of America’s pastime were offended that Marc Anthony, who was born in America of Puerto Rican parents, sang “God Bless America.” This is the same Marc Anthony who performed at the White House, who has won numerous awards including two Grammies. I’m sure that Marc Anthony employs many Americans of different races, including Caucasians, in his various enterprises. However, I guess he’s not allowed to sing “God Bless America”  because he is Latin. BTW the game was held in Citi Field in Queen’s, New York, the most ethnically diverse area of the city and probably the entire USA..

Because of these fans I’m ashamed to be a baseball fan, even though I live in another country. I always regarded baseball as being the most progressive and transparent Major League sport, where someone like Jackie Robinson could play the game decades ago while segregation was still the law in America even though he was Black, but with fans like these I’m not so sure.

Baseball fans are not the only ones who are ignorant and racist. Last month NBA fans were incensed that 11-year-old Sebastien de la Cruz, a mariachi singer, opened Game 3 of the NBA finals.This set off a barrage of insulting, racist tweets aimed at this child.

Here are some of the posts and comments which will give you an indication of why I’m so upset that baseball fans could be so ignorant and racist. There are more but I can’t be bothered to read them:


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • I live in New Zealand and while I don’t know much about baseball (I prefer to watch cricket) even I know that Puerto Rico is a US territory!

  • I’m all for calling out hateful behavior. I don’t want hate to have a larger platform than the actions of the majority. Baseball has been at the front lines in the battle for equality. The MLB has recently added more weight to their anti-discrimination policy, by adding mandatory training and reporting protocols. They are trying to put actions to the policy. Good for them.

    The battle continues.

  • Thanks for sharing this Wave. I too was outraged when I saw this online earlier today. I’d hoped when President Obama was elected that we’d entered a post-racial era in our country, yet recently I’ve sadly been reminded this is not the case. I respectfully disagree with the comment that was made about these tweets being impolite. I don’t consider racist remarks to be a matter of rudeness, but rather bigotry. Those sort of hateful comments (as were in the tweets) should not be spoken in public or private.

    • Hi Jeff

      I think that racist remarks reflect a lot about who and what someone is and they smack of bigotry. These are people who obviously don’t like anyone except if that person looks like them. I sure hope that none of them is an employer.

  • Buda
    I had to reply here because the iPad screws up the text when there are more than 2 or 3 responses to a comment.

    So hockey and rugby are the only real sports? I guess that’s why so many hockey players need LOTS of dental work because of being hit in the face by the puck!!!! 😮

    The stretch is part of the “excitement” of the game when fans get to know their neighbours, or go for a quick pee because they don’t want to miss a double play. 😆

  • First of all, I am a huge baseball fan (Go Tigers!!!), too. And this does not affect the way I feel about baseball. I am not going to let a few idiots tarnish something that I love so dearly.
    I honestly didn’t even know there was any controversy until I read this post but it doesn’t really surprise me. The face of America is changing and some people are not adjusting as well as they should.
    But instead of looking at the negative at the all star game, focus on the positive. Baseball is one of the most diverse professional sports, with representatives from 6 of the 7 continents and players from age 18 (in the minors) to age 42 (Jason Giambi). A man from Venezuela won the Espy for best baseball player, last night (I’m a Tigers girl. No way I could talk about baseball without at least mentioning Miguel Cabrera.)
    Those ignorant fools do not speak for the majority of baseball fans, and they sure as hell do not speak for me. So keep watching “America’s” favorite pastime and remember to cheer for the Tigers in the World Series 🙂

    • Hi jenni

      At one point the Toronto Blue Jays was about two thirds Latin so I’m aware of the diversity in baseball. Unfortunately these jerks are tarnishing the game every time they make comments like these. I’m not Latin, but to have some fans shit on Marc Anthony just for singing God Bless America is ignorant and racist. Who’s going to be their next target?

  • Well said, Wave, I’m upset too. It’s hard to believe people are jumping to express hate and discrimination without checking out the facts.
    The big irony of this incident is that while Puerto Rico is geographically in the Caribbean, nobody should question the patriotism of Puerto Ricans, because of the thousands men and women of Puerto Rican origin who are members the U.S. Armed Services, and who sacrifice their lives every day defending the United States of America.
    Because they are also American citizens, the credit goes to the U.S. Armed Services and nobody remembers their sacrifice. At least, not the ones discriminating against Marc Anthony.

    • The thing is, hate seems to be everywhere. None of these jerks were probably “offended” when Americans of Latin origin died in wars defending America, but let someone who is American but whose parents are of Puerto Rican origin, dare to sing God Bless America and it’s offensive to them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • This is really disgusting. You’re right to be offended, Wave. It seems every day the ignorant become more and more vocal and visible. Who knew all those Fox News viewers had Twitter?

    Now the important question is this: Why was he singing “God Bless America” instead of the National Anthem?

    • The National Anthem is sung before the game starts. God Bless America is typically sung during the 7th inning stretch.

      I find it incredible that these people have no problem putting their ignorance on display for the whole world to see. I miss the days before the anonymity of the internet when people would be ashamed to behave so embarrassingly in public.

      • Thank you, Laura. Remember, I’m a hockey fan, so I’m blissfully ignorant of the nuances of baseball. 🙂

        I’ve often said society stopped being polite when men stopped wearing suits. Now the supposed anonymity of the internet allows people to spew the most vicious stuff. You can bet your sweet bippy if I were an employer, I’d be scouring those tweets looking for someone who unload from my payroll.

        • As Laura said, God Bless America is sung at the 7th inning stretch and the National Anthem is sung before the game starts. It’s even more complicated when the games are played in Canada and the Canadian National Anthem is also sung as you probably know from watching hockey. 😆 I love baseball so much I used to travel to many of the smaller ballparks in the US to watch games with players who were not yet in the Majors because they were so normal and cared about the fans.

          Baseball has many players from Latin America and I don’t know what they will think when they see these articles.

          I still watch old baseball movies with the Babe as well as Field of Dreams and For the Love of the Games (yes, I’m a real fan Buda). 🙂 I keep telling you, you should stop watching hockey and watch real sports. 😀

          These assholes will turn people away from the games which would be a pity.

          • You know, if that game weren’t unreasonably (pointlessly) long, there would be no need for a stretch. 🙂 I’ve watched Field of Dreams, 12 Men Out, Angels in the Outfield and some others, I’m sure.

            I cannot believe you actually wrote those words to me. Hockey and rugby are the only real sports. Everything else is just pretend.

  • Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be an American. This is one of those times. The stupidity and ignorance boggle the mind.

    • Hi Laura

      Reading these tweets I can’t believe that this is 2013. I think I’m in the Twilight Zone somewhere in the 1940s before segregation was abolished in the US. You’re right.There is ignorance and there is ignorance and stupidity.

  • From West Side Story: Nobody knows in America, Puerto Rico’s in America. From comedian Ron White: You can’t fix stupid.

    • Even I, who live in Canada, know that Puerto Rico is in America. Why do these ignorant, racist fans who have an axe to grind about class and race, have to take it to a game that’s part of the American tapestry, probably its oldest game. I guess baseball has lost its innocence when fans can demand that only Caucasians should sing God Bless America.


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