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The Daily Beast smears baseball legend for being a conservative Christian

Yesterday, The Daily Beast published a high-and-inside smear that left a bitter taste in the mouths of Rivera fans everywhere.
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Baseball’s evil empire inducted their stunning 60th Yankee into the MLB’s Hall of Fame this past weekend, as the Panama-born, cutter-slinging Mariano Rivera etched his name into the halls of Cooperstown.

Mariano’s unanimous first-ballot entry into the hall—a feat that had never been accomplished before—was undoubtedly well deserved.

At some point in his career, Rivera transcended from being just another ballplayer and became a major league megastar, respected across the sport despite his direct affiliation with those damn Yankees

The beloved Rivera would enter with barely a scratch on him. A career with hardly a blemish on it, and a reputation to match.

But of course, as we’ve seen time and time again, a good parade is never wasted for those in the social justice community to rain on.

Yesterday, The Daily Beast published a high-and-inside smear that left a bitter taste in the mouths of Rivera fans everywhere. Rather than celebrating his career like every other normal person wanted to do, journalist Robert Silverman decided to highlight every “controversial” opinion the soft-spoken Rivera has.

Should this come as a surprise? Probably not. Former Editor-in-chief John Avlon fittingly described the Beast‘s “Strike Zone” as “politics, pop culture and power,” going on to say that the Beast “seek(s) out scoops, scandals, and stories about secret worlds; we love confronting bullies, bigots, and hypocrites.”

When the supply of bigotry does not meet the astronomical demand, you get hit pieces on innocent by-standers like Mariano Rivera. Congrats, Beast. You’ve found your “Bully.”

To Silverman, Rivera should enter the Hall of Fame with some sort of asterisk next to his name to denote that he was a man who has “served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons.” Silverman goes on to say that “None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should, even if much of the sports world would very much like to pretend none of it exists.”

Silverman points out that Rivera’s off-field presence was basically non-existent. “There were no gossipy mentions of his name in the tabloids, nor public salary-related feuds with the Steinbrenner clan.” Rather, what is more alarming than the way Mariano Rivera conducts himself as a person, is his personal relationship with God.

Rivera’s sins include visiting Israel numerous times, being named Man of the Year by the New York Board of Rabbis, and being friendly with world leaders that Silverman doesn’t agree with.

Rivera’s resume of good deeds is nearly as impressive as his on-field work. The Mariano Rivera foundation distributes nearly a million dollars annually. He founded a church in New Rochelle, New York in which his wife serves as pastor and has helped raise thousands of dollars in hurricane relief funds. But it’s these exact actions—and the factors that motivate them—that cause people like Silverman so much grief.

According to Silverman, Rivera’s “actions make it clear his sympathies lie with the Trump administration, which has backed all manner of far-right policies when it comes to Israel.” (as if an Evangelical Christian being a strong supporter of Israel is something of any shock or interest.)

It all aligns with the very simple playbook drawn out by left-wing ideologues: Athletes who hate the president are good (a la Megan Rapinoe, Colin Kaepernick) and athletes who even entertain the idea of being friendly with the current administration are bad (a la Tom Brady, and now, Mariano Rivera.)

All of this dances around some very relevant questions: Who gives a shit what Mariano Rivera thinks? Why are Mariano Rivera’s personal beliefs such a threat to Silverman? It does not matter if Rivera is Christian. It wouldn’t matter if he were Muslim, or Jewish, Buddhist or a Satanist. As a fan of baseball, the only question that should matter is whether he could get out of the inning without giving up a run.

More men have walked on the moon than men who have scored against Mariano Rivera in the postseason. So is it really a surprise that Silverman’s attempt to “score” on Rivera ended up resembling a routine grounder to first?

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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