Free speech gets three strikes
Even baseball cannot be spared the horror of war. Due to remarks made by two actors, war has managed to find its way into the rural fields of New York. Cooperstown, the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, has canceled an anniversary event it had planned for the breakthrough baseball film Bull Durham.
The event was canceled because two of the movie’s stars, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, have been highly critical of the war in Iraq, and the head of the event, former Reagan advisor, Dale Petroskey, maintains that these remarks “endangered the troops in Iraq.”
The comment itself is so ridiculous it’s hard to believe Petroskey, the current president of the hall of fame, is sticking to his guns.
It seems Sarandon and Robbins can’t catch a break. A few weeks ago, the United Way of Tampa canceled a speaking engagement with Sarandon due to her antiwar stance. The two celebrities have always been politically vocal and have been chastised because of it. However, this is really just another way that people are being penalized for vocalizing their opinions.
It is amazing that in this time of war, it seems Americans around the country have forgotten the first amendment in the Bill of Rights: freedom of speech. It is amazing that some Americans have forgotten the reason why the Revolutionary War was fought over 300 years ago. It was fought in order to escape a monarchy that would not give autonomy to its people, or free speech.
The Baseball Hall of Fame should have been able to hold its own and allow the event to go on as planned. Bull Durham was to be celebrated, not Robbins’ or Sarandon’s comments.
The hall of fame is not Capitol Hill; it is a building to commemorate the men and women who have played the American sport. If people don’t see the hypocrisy in this kind of censorship, maybe they should reread the Bill of Rights. Or rent Bull Durham.