October 2019 – ‘Nobody loves an umpire’ the saying goes; here is as strong a case in point as you’re likely to find.
One Major League Baseball umpire, who wants us to respect his judgment on a baseball field, says he’s getting an AR-15 if Trump is impeached .
Rob Drake, 50, tweeted that he’d buy this semi-automatic weapon “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL [sic] WAR!!! #MAGA2020.” The post was made and deleted on Tuesday.
It is sadly not surprising with a president calling for civil war in the event he is impeached that some of his followers echo that chilling, illegal call to violent war.
However, we cannot condone a man in the public eye, involved with such an American institution as baseball, to do so without consequence.
The Major League Baseball Umpires Association issued this statement, as reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country. His posting does not represent the view of the MLBUA or reflect those of the umpires we represent.”
This statement lacks any acknowledgement that calling for gun violence is wholly unacceptable. It implies there is some ‘right way’ to express an opinion that taking up arms in the event of an impeachment exists.
[an aside from Suzanne: the far right-wing constantly criticizes celebrities and activists, telling them to ‘stay in their lane,’ ‘stay out of politics’ etc when stars and campaigners call for better gun laws. I have not seen a single word from the far-right telling this umpire who wants gun violence and civil war to stay in his lane or stick to baseball].
Please contact the Major League Baseball Umpires Association through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
I have seen the outrageous, unacceptable tweet made by Rob Drake saying he’ll get an AR-15 rifle and undertake civil war if Trump is impeached, and I have seen your statement on the matter. Neither one is acceptable.
Drake knows he is in the public eye, and young or otherwise impressionable people who follow baseball will see this call to take up semi-automatic weapons as a way to counter legal political proceedings as being acceptable. It is made by someone hired to show good judgement and a cool head.
What were you thinking in not condemning outright the call to start a civil war with semi-automatic weapons if Trump is impeached? Do you not know 47,000 people were shot in America last year alone? If the MLBUA is not proactively fighting gun violence, it’s time it starts doing so. You represent a truly American institution: you have to take serious action on this immediately.
The MLBUA must issue a full condemnation of using guns to solve disputes of any kind. I want to see Drake involved in issuing a genuine apology or retraction at the very least. Your statement saying he is ‘passionate’ and ‘didn’t express his views correctly.’ Your statement condones the clear call to violence made by a man known widely in the USA. Does the MLBUA think there is an acceptable way to express a view that an impeachment is an excuse for waging a war with semi-automatic weapons? Neither Drake’s tweet nor your statement can be allowed to stand; your words are no help at all. And you are wrong: Drake’s words do reflect on everyone in the MLBUA.
The First amendment guarantees us the right of free speech. It does not however allow for an incitement to violence. Drake must not be allowed to hide behind this amendment as an excuse for his clear call to arms.
Send him to spend a night on an emergency room shift in a large city hospital so he can see the damage AR-15s do: there usually no chance of surviving being shot by such weapons if they hit the body. At the least, fine him heavily, and give money to one of the many organisations that work to stop gun violence. Firing him from his post would not be out of order either, but perhaps he can be made to understand what was wrong with his words.
The way things stand now is unacceptable: make the right call.
NO, @MLBUA, it is never OK to advocate gun violence; Rob Drake wasn’t covered by 1st A when he tweeted about getting an AR-15 if Trump is impeached. You must issue a statement to that effect, take punitive action against Drake now. On behalf of @1Pulse4America I demand you act.
Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!
Email (use the ‘ask the ump’ feature): https://www.mlbua.com/?fbclid=IwAR2nqiBcI_EsQU71H4YT21vRCJkXeHMjRcnHN2zdnd-tjEcFtpjGrUcZsNU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MLBUA-2102580646620724/?ref=bookmarks – the relevant post is very visible