Baseball Strikes Out on Culture War Symbols
Departing from its proudly non-political posture, Major League Baseball offered contrasting responses to different symbols identified with the culture war. In St. Louis, a Cardinals fan complained because Busch Stadium regularly featured a cross and what looked like a Christian fish sign inscribed in the dirt behind the pitcher’s mound. It turned out a groundskeeper inscribed the symbols there before each game, but the Cardinals apologized and banned all such displays.
Meanwhile, at Seattle’s Safeco Field, the Mariners proudly flew the Rainbow Flag to honor the Gay Pride Parade and refused to give ground in the face of fan complaints.
When the universal symbol of the nation’s dominant religion becomes more controversial than a banner associated with the fight for gay marriage, it shows that for our once traditionalist National Pastime the score has dramatically changed.