It was a beautiful summer day in the Bronx. The Yankees were pummeling the Toronto Blue Jays and the crowd was in a great mood.
That was until the Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado ran out to his position in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was then that the Bronx faithful pelted Delgado with boos and jeers that would make even the most strong-willed of men shed a tear.
The boos paraded down on Delgado because he decided to stay in the dugout and not acknowledge the Yankee Stadium tradition of playing “God Bless America” before “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” at the seventh inning stretch. Delgado does this to show his disapproval of the war in Iraq.
Ever since 9/11, “God Bless America” has been played to remember the people who lost their lives that day and the soldiers who have lost their lives overseas. It is during this time of reflection that certain fans called Delgado unpatriotic, anti-American and even a terrorist. How can a man who is expressing the values that Americans hold with such high esteem be a terrorist? This is when I knew that many Americans have blurred the lines between being American and being a loud-mouthed thug.
Being an American gives all people living in the country the right to freely express our opinions and do things that might be controversial without fear of being persecuted or deported like so many other countries in the world. Every American can agree that this is what puts the United States as one of the most powerful countries in the world; not the most, but one of the most powerful.
These same people who called Delgado a terrorist also yelled at any man who kept his hat on during “God Bless America” as well. Never questioning why it is disrespectful to wear a hat during the song, these guys heckled and cursed at these hat-wearing rebels all during the song. They were so caught up with trying to worry about why people were expressing their values that they too were, in fact, being more disrespectful than the guy who kept his hat on.
People who claim to love this country have to understand that people who protest, question the government, and take controversial stands are doing nothing but expressing the values that these “patriots” hold so near and dear to their heart. When they boo Delgado for sitting during “God Bless America” then they are the ones who do not appreciate what this country gives us and that is why it is they, not Delgado, who deserve to be booed.
Until these people realize that Delgado is just using his right to free speech and protest, then the others who call boo him are no better than the Taliban or Al Queda who punish people for being outspoken and who question decision-makers. More people should be like Carlos Delgado and the man with his hat on in the third row.