Former Boston Celtics center Jason Collins made history today when he announced that he is homosexual. While many have praised Collins for becoming the first active player in a professional sports league to come out, the ownership of the Boston Red Sox saw it more as an opportunity.
The official twitter handle of the Red Sox released the following tweet just hours after Collins made his historic announcement:
“We salute you, @jasoncollins34 for your courage and leadership. Any time you want to throw out a first pitch at Fenway Park, let us know.”
Now ordinarily I would look at a nice gesture such as this as an appropriate tribute to Collins for his bravery. But I’m a Red Sox fan and I know better. This was yet another ploy by ownership to get fans out to the ballpark, sell tickets, and increase their profit margins.
In Massachusetts we pride ourself in our tolerance and acceptance of all people. We were the home of abolitionists, civil rights leaders, and we were one of the first states to legalize gay marriage. Larry Lucchino, John Henry and Tom Werner are well aware of this. They know that inviting Collins to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game would be a huge story. They know that Red Sox nation would stand and cheer for Collins. But most importantly, they know that people will come to that game. Considering that their fraudulent sellout streak recently ended, they would do almost anything to put fans back in the seats.
While the Los Angeles Times and others will praise Red Sox ownership for supporting Collins, I know better. I’ve seen the past few years the lengths that ownership will go to to profit off of Fenway Park. Perhaps if they owned a team in a region that is not known for its tolerance I could commend them for taking such a stand. However, the fact of the matter is that they are merely attempting to capitalize on the tolerance of Bostonians.
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Follow Aidan Kearney on Twitter @aidanfromworc