The White Sox just had a debate that feels like every team in North American sport will have for the next two years. But honestly, who cares if the White Sox had decided not to play yesterday’s game? Canceled or postponed matches out of respect for those killed or injured by another mass shooting have become as ubiquitous as the shootings themselves. It’s no different than the Mavericks in the playoffs after Uvalde. Or maybe what the Phillies will have to talk about tomorrow† It’s all part of the same disease cycle.
We’ve all done this. We saw NBA players walk away from playoff games in The Bubble. NHL players eventually followed suit. We’ve seen the quotes, or shirts, or gestures. It’s not that they aren’t needed or aren’t appreciated, because to an extent they are. But they also feel part of the script. We’ve all seen a thread like this enough to write one by heart.
I supposed a treatise would be written on the differences between Highland Park and Chicago’s South Side, which the White Sox are supposed to represent, and how they will be linked together in the most callous and ignorant way by those with an agenda to keeps us right in this prison we’re in. Or someone is joking that if the Sox were always debating whether to play a game after a nearby shooting, they’d never actually play. But the South Side and Highland Park and everywhere in between, or wherever, were always connected. It’s baffling and infuriating that it takes another mass shooting to highlight it, but we’re all connected by being held hostage by a vociferous and well-paid minority. It doesn’t matter if you are in Lawndale to go to school or to the North Shore. We’re being held hostage to the fact that anyone, even some asshole whose biggest annoyance was probably never getting a blowjob and then unleashing it on the world, can have a weapon of mass destruction.
Which makes every gesture the Sox wanted to make. Whatever quotes before or after the match, like Sacha Kljestan’s above. There is no one left to convince. There is no middle to win. Everyone has taken their side and will not be moved. There is the right side and the wrong side, only the latter has the money and just enough senators in his pocket. We can kick and scream regardless of our status and scope, but there’s no heart left to turn. You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re really lost. Damn, there was a time when writing something like this on a site like this would be an eye opener. It’s not anymore, and even if it was no one reading this and available to be flipped, you know where you stand. Everyone sits in their ditch, without putting their foot down.
The games that continue are an indictment. If the games were to be stopped, that would be an indictment. There are no levers to pull, this is almost certainly the way the NRA and GOP want it. It is not that we are indifferent or unmotivated. So are many hostages. All we see are walls. So who cares if the Sox put on their cleats or not, or have a moment of silence or not?
It will be another team’s question to grapple with, and it will only take a few days. There are no wrong answers, just because there isn’t really a right one either. The White Sox shouldn’t be required to have the answers, because everyone knows what they are. Most people want them. Maybe one day what most people want is the law of the land, maybe before we’re all dead.