On Sunday, Mariano Rivera became the first player ever to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on a unanimous vote.
Rivera, the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history – he leads in saves, both in the regular season and postseason, and earned-run average, the most comprehensive measure of pitching success – brought “an overwhelming sense of dignity” to his “chosen profession,” wrote Robert Silverman of the far-left-wing site The Daily Beast.
But “little was known about what Rivera was like when not on the clock,” and Silverman aimed to fix that with his piece, “Inside Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera’s Right-Wing Politics.”
“Over the past three years, he’s also served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons,” Silverman wrote. “None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should, even if much of the sports world would very much like to pretend none of it exists.”
The phrase “racist president” links to a piece by another Daily Beast writer, Goldie Taylor, entitled, “Trump Is a Racist. If You Still Support Him, So Are You” – subhead: “The president keeps baring his ass, and the people talking about his clothing as he does so are part of the problem.”
The lead of that piece, which is labeled opinion, is “The president is a racist, in his words and his actions. Before you go clutching your pearls and extolling the virtues of ‘civility,’ let me say this: Put a sock in it.”
The piece on Rivera continued: “At least one longtime Yankee fan would like to make sure” Rivera’s work with the administration “remains front and center:” and included a tweet from President Trump congratulating Rivera on being named to the Hall of Fame and thanking him for his work on the president’s Opioid Drug Abuse Commission and Counsel on Fitness.
Silverman takes issue not only with Rivera’s position on the two commissions for Trump but for his advocacy for Israel as well. His support for Israel “is a matter of public record,” Silverman wrote.
He attributes, based on thirdhand accounts, a quote from Rivera on one trip, in which the pitcher gestured “toward Lebanon and Syria, which were visible from where they stood,” and said, “They could have a much better life and yet they choose not to take that path.”
He also pointed out Rivera has worked with the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, “a multi-million-dollar U.S.-based nonprofit organization that does charitable work on behalf of the IDF.” This, even though, 2 ½ months before Rivera appeared at a Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces event in Israel, these soldiers had “killed at least 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza and injured thousands more.”
This referred to violent protests that broke out in Gaza when the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem. It does not mention that Hamas took credit for launching rockets into Israel at civilians and provoking the response from the Israeli Defense Forces.
Rivera even dared to be photographed shaking hands with David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, on the occasion, despite Friedman, according to Silverman, once having described J Street, the liberal Jewish lobbying group, as “worse than Kapos.”
Rivera also appeared at a conference in Washington sponsored by Christians United for Israel, “a 4-million-member strong Christian-Zionist nonprofit” at which Rivera had been convinced to increase his financial support for Israel-related causes, Silverman wrote.
It bothered Silverman that Rivera probably wouldn’t take seriously his criticisms of Rivera’s involvement with Israel and its military.
“Any criticism of his pro-Israel stance won’t change Rivera’s mind, either,” Silverman wrote. “To me, criticism is more motivation to keep going forward – to push forward – for what I believe, for what I stand for,” he quoted Rivera as saying. “And again, that will make me even stronger.”
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