MLB opening week ends as students do the unthinkable in front of flag-bearers
Professional baseball has hardly had to deal with the kind of turbulence faced by football when it comes to national anthem protests.
Whereas giants swathes of NFL players have all knelt or protested the national anthem in one form or another, in Major League Baseball, it’s only been one player.
Oakland A’s backup catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the national anthem late last year, but has since decided to stop. Other than Maxwell, MLB has been free of any national anthem controversies.
That changed in a hurry when baseball’s opening week festivities concluded on Sunday.
Some fans tuned into MLB’s opening slate of games to watch the New York Yankees’ slugger duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton blast some home runs.
Other fans watched to catch a glimpse of the much-hyped Los Angeles Angels prospect Shohei Ohtani.
Most fans watched opening week games just to have some professional baseball in their lives again after a lengthy offseason.
They probably didn’t watch opening week contests to observe any anthem protests. And yet, that’s exactly what some fans got.
The Seattle Mariners were getting ready to host the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field. As per tradition, prior to the game, the national anthem was played.
In this particular case, a local elementary school was performing the song when two students went rogue.
Here at Safeco Field where an elementary school sung the anthem and two students took a knee while performing. pic.twitter.com/HwHIsowsxN
— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) April 1, 2018
Those two girls didn’t just kneel in the middle of the performance, they knelt directly in front of the official flag-bearers.
It’s unclear exactly what branch of service the men carrying the flags are part of, but rest assured, they don’t deserve the blatant disrespect. Whether they’re policemen or firemen, they still serve and protect Americans.
The most stinging part may be the fact that the kids chose to kneel in front of the flag-bearers despite not being remotely old enough to serve their country yet.
Many criticized the two young protesters, but others expressed support for what they did.
Two young girls exercising their rights @SafecoField ✊ pic.twitter.com/jOOYxnHoSM
— Louis Penna (@louispenna) April 1, 2018
Still, the young girls’ protest begs the question of whether they made their own Colin Kaepernick-inspired decision or were forced to do so by their parents.
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