FULL DISCLOSURE: I love baseball. I mean, the way a Kardashian doles it out for the spotlight, I’d do the same for some first-base line seats at a Texas Rangers game. I even write about it … for fun. I know, right?
However, certain things trump my love for the great game. Such as, love of this great country. No, this isn’t pandering of applause. Rather, this leads to an important question that has to do with PR. If you watch baseball today, check out the uniforms — camouflage. Is this fishing for good PR to love on military pride or fishing for a few dollars in the gift shop?
Sure, it’s nice to wear those while watching the color guard at home plate, but when the game is over, that can be your jersey too for $149.95. That’s when it hit me — is Major League Baseball really honoring our military, or just profiting off their service?
Camo, from what the cool kids say, is “totes in.” So, of course you don’t want to blast all fashion moguls that creates look-alike fatigues, but sports uniforms? And just for that one day? There’s only one problem — Memorial Day. You see, MLB, this is not a day to honor the military that are here. It’s to honor those who died so we could be here. You know? Watching a game with a cold one and a pretzel.
That’s the PR crossroads. Why not black uniforms, or a black arm band across the sleeve?
I’m no sports expert, but I am the proud son of the two-time Vietnam veteran with more awards in his tackle box than I could find at an Army-Navy store (no kidding). He hates this day, and why? He lost friends, brothers-in-arms during foreign conflict. This is not a “Happy Memorial Day” and it certainly isn’t one where he wants to skip to the novelty store and purchase some Memorial Day paraphernalia.
See that picture? I used to be sucked-in by the MLB profiteering machine on Memorial Day until my dad asked, “Do you know someone who died on this day?”
I don’t want to be a ‘Debbie Downer’ but it was then when I became aware of some moronic twist of celebratory events as a veteran pointed it out to me. And I’m glad he did. This is a day to mourn and remember, not buy mattresses and used cars. So, sports teams worth hundreds of millions of dollars may need to reconsider the whole “making money on Memorial Day” angle.
There’s always Veterans Day … oh yeah, that’s in November. At least the NFL has an excuse. Good PR on them.