St. Louis Cardinals

Think Fowler should ‘stick to baseball’? Then you’re a boob.

One of the many gifts of social media and the 2016 presidential campaign is relief from political correctness and the crushing pressure it puts on us to be kind, empathetic and to think objectively.

So let’s dispense with it right now and just tell it like it is: If you’re really planning to boycott the St. Louis Cardinals because of comments made by outfielder Dexter Fowler, you are a boob.

That’s right. A boob.

Fowler’s wife, Darya, was born in Iran, one of the seven countries listed on President Donald Trump’s ban on foreign nationals entering the U.S. That executive order, you might recall, was blocked by a federal district and appellate courts, but the president has promised to press forward with his immigration reform agenda.

The Fowlers had planned to travel with their daughter to visit relatives in Iran, but were forced to rethink it out of concerns that Darya would be refused re-entry to the U.S.

So because he has a personal perspective on immigration reform, Fowler was asked his thoughts. His answer was personal, not political.

“It’s huge, especially anytime you’re not able to see family,” he said.

This was no grandstand political commentary. He didn’t call out — or even mention — President Trump. Based on the question that was asked, he shared a personal account on how his family has been affected.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said.

The man is separated from family without knowing when he will be able to see them again. Objectively, “unfortunate” seems like an understatement.

But objectivity and empathy are not the strong suits of the hyper-politicized social media boobs, who have predictably lost their marbles at Fowler’s audacity. They think Fowler should stick to baseball and leave political discussion to their more enlightened minds.

It didn’t help that some news outlets posted the story under misleading, click-bait headlines such as this one from MSNBC: “Cardinal player with Iranian wife rips Trump’s travel ban.”

He did nothing of the kind, but such hyperbole is irresistible stink bait to the short-attention-span boobs, who love to use Facebook and other comment threads to impose their moral authority, even when it’s plainly evident they didn’t bother to read past a headline.

Here’s a comparatively tame example of what they’re saying on social media boards: “He signed a contract with the Cardinals so that makes him property of stl cardinals and mlb so he needs to keep his mouth shut.”

Some are now saying they plan to boycott the Cardinals as long as Fowler remains with the team. Really?

Apparently, baseball players don’t have the same First Amendment rights enjoyed by teachers, accountants, meat cutters, pipe fitters, marketing executives, journalists, etc. Nor are they permitted any reasonable concern for their families.

Or something ...

Fowler answered the critics from the Cardinals spring training complex in Jupiter with more class than the boobs can muster: I’m always going to care for my family, and if a question is asked out of concern, I’m going to answer the question truthfully. It’s not to hurt anybody. It’s my perspective. It’s unfortunate that people think of things that way, but I believe they’re sensitive. I’m not the sensitive one.”

You might think President Trump’s travel ban is the best thing for the cause of national security since Harry Truman dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Without agreeing or disagreeing, that is your absolute right.

And nothing stops you from calling out Fowler for making provocative political comments, even if those comments are not particularly provocative or political.

One would just hope you’d actually read before commenting, to consider what’s been said objectively and with empathy for those who speak from actual experience, and to exercise a little decency in your dialog.

Otherwise you just come off as a boob.

That’s right. A boob.

Sports Editor Todd Eschman: 618-239-2540, @tceschman

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