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Friday, October 12, 2007
Professor Kent Greenfield on Red Sox and Blue State Voters

Boston College Law School Professor Kent Greenfield has a thoughtful and provocative piece on The Huffington Post that examines (partly tongue-in-cheek) the social context of the Red Sox-Indians American League Championship Series, which begins tonight at 7:07 EST in Fenway Park.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

* * *
Blue State voters: get behind your Team of Destiny in the baseball playoffs, the Boston Red Sox. Rooting for the Sox this year is akin to recycling, giving to Oxfam, and hoarding old "No Nukes" buttons in your desk drawer. Joining Red Sox Nation is no longer merely an expression of fandom; it is a moral imperative.

If you're from Cleveland, Colorado, or Arizona, you get a free pass. But otherwise, any person with a shred of progressive sensibility should be ordering their replica David Ortiz jersey.

First of all, look at our competition in the American League Championship series, the Cleveland Indians. All you need to know is that their team logo trades on the worst kind of stereotypes of native people. A smiling, shifty-eyed, crooked-nose icon with dark red skin and a feather sprouting from his head is probably the most racist logo in all of sport. The mascot has a name: "Chief Wahoo." Native American groups and the NAACP have protested in the past, but the team has refused to change the logo.

The Team of Destiny, however, has named itself after hosiery. Nothing offensive there.

* * *

And when we play the Indians, we have a chance to watch sweet, sweet irony. Our best young prospect is 24-year old Jacoby Ellsbury, who should be seeing action in the outfield as a backup. He's lightning fast. Earlier this year he scored a run on a wild pitch, which is no big deal except that he started the play on second base.

The sweet irony is that he is of Navajo descent, the first ever in the major leagues. Maybe he will steal a base, beat out an infield grounder, or rob an Indians player of a double in the gap. And I want you to be cheering with me when he wipes that silly grin off Chief Wahoo's face.

For the rest of the piece, click here.


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