When it comes to politics, sports has lost its common sense, as the New York Yankees proved this week by turning a baseball game into a progressive political convention, complete with race-dividing rhetoric.
That’s because no one in America with an ounce of common sense looks at the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as anything but an American tragedy.
It’s heartbreaking to see the photos of the children who lost their lives because of the shooting.
Yet the common sense disclaimer disqualifies people from being taken seriously who wished to score points by politicizing the tragedy during a baseball game, as the New York Yankees did this week.
The Yankees interrupted their baseball game on Twitter to virtue-signal for the rest of the country with lengthy threads about gun control, including playing the race card.
First of all, the last thing the country needs is a lecture from New York about the virtues of gun control that have worked so poorly for that city.
And it’s not just that they politicized it, but they openly tried to divide the country along racial lines, just as progressives do when it comes to immigration and police reform.
Thus instead of creating solutions, they created only backlash and anger.
Each year, more than 4,100 Latinx people die from gun violence in the U.S. and 13,300 are shot and wounded.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 26, 2022
The Yankees’ statistics show two things: They don’t understand the real math behind gun violence, and they don’t really want to understand it, either.
More Latinos are killed by gun violence in Mexico (22,116) than in the U.S., despite Mexico’s toughest-ever gun laws. And the numbers aren’t even close.
In fact, Latin America is tops in gun-related deaths.
Part of the reason people flee to the U.S. and try to cross the border illegally is to escape the higher gun violence in Mexico, Central America and South America.
There were approximately 120,000 gun deaths in Latin America in 2019 versus the 4,100 claimed for the U.S. in the Yankees’ tweet, according to stats at World Population Review.
That’s not a minuscule comparison, either.
Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico combine for the largest share of deaths at over 100,000 of the nearly 120,000 combined in Mexico, Central America and South America.
It swamps the comparisons between the U.S. and Europe and suggests drugs, not the availability of guns are the biggest difference between gun deaths in the U.S. and Europe.
“Gun violence in Latin America is exceptionally high, due in no small part to the prevalence of criminal gangs and a vibrant drug trafficking industry,” according to the editors at World Population Review.
“Many people understandably assume the high number of gun deaths in the U.S. is due to mass shootings, which receive frequent attention from the media,” the editors said.
“In truth, mass shootings account for only a small percentage of gun deaths in the United States. Rather, nearly two-thirds (63%) of gun deaths in the U.S. in 2019 were suicides,” WPR concluded.
But a crisis mentality has developed in our country.
It’s a mentality that allows people who have a vested or emotional interest in certain policy outcomes to use their bully pulpit to try to bully the rest of us into compliance with their demands when they feel they can emotionally exploit a tragedy.
It’s actually not the best way to accomplish change or policies that work.
The New York Yankees, who tried to make guns into an issue of politics, using race-baiting and distorted statistics and, most disgustingly, dead children, to divide Americans, will find this out to their dismay.
But it’s not a singular event.
It happened in Miami, too, where the team’s professional men’s basketball club, which refused to condemn China over human rights abuses, used their professional announcer to publish the telephone numbers of Florida’s Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to demand changes to the country’s gun laws, again exploiting dead children.
Here’s an idea for the New York Yankees, and the Miami Heat to try if they really want to have an impact: Make it personal.
Make their athletes and employees and owners sign a personal conduct contract that prevents them from owning a firearm or having any personal security.
Then we’ll see how the sports teams really feel.