Dale Petroskey, president of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., withdrew his invitation to actors Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon to attend a 15th anniversary celebration of the movie Bull Durham. Why? Because of their anti-war stance. "What we were trying to do was take politics out of this," Petroskey said. "We didn't want people to espouse their views in a very public place, one way or another. The Hall isn't the place for that." Well, congratulations, Mr. President! You succeeded in dragging politics into it after all.
Don't get me wrong. I believe that Dale Petroskey can do whatever he wants. He has every right to uninvite Robbins and Sarandon if he so wishes, but it makes no sense. He is essentially punishing two people for having a different opinion about the warand getting some positive patriotic publicity in the process.
The Hall of Fame, however, was thrown a curve ball. Roger Kahn, author of The Boys of Summer, considered to be one of the greatest books about baseball ever written, has cancelled his August speaking appearance at the Hall in protest. I'm sure there will be some very disappointed baseball fans, but Petroskey isn't budging.
According to the patriotic president, the actors' comments about the war could "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger." Now, he wasn't exactly clear about how our troops could be placed in even more danger than they already are, but his reasoning is good enough for other so-called conservatives.
Let's end this childish behavior. First "Freedom Fries," now this. People are going to have a difference of opinion. Get over it. That's what America is all about. Do we really want to start equating those practicing their freedom of speech with the ones actually shooting at our troops overseas?
Please. I suppose next we'll be hearing that Pete Rose won't be allowed into the Hall of Fame, either.