Retired Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully rarely talked about anything but baseball when he was up in the broadcast booth. Sure, there were stories, but they always found a way to come back to the game.
Now that Scully is retired, though, he’s able to give his opinion about things he normally would not have discussed during his career. That includes the NFL protests, which have caused Scully to stage his own protest against the league.
What an incredibly humble, funny, remarkable storyteller.
Here, his thoughts on NFL & kneeling. pic.twitter.com/uEK50pE8Iv
— Deus Ex Mushina (@MushKat) November 5, 2017
Scully’s full statement wasn’t captured on video. The recording picks up Scully mid-sentence. Here’s the relevant part of his statement:
“It’s not that I’m such great patriot. I was in the Navy for a year — didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything — but I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. The only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”
Scully may fall into the group of people Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter was talking about when he said people have lost sight of why athletes are protesting. The players kneeling aren’t protesting the military or veterans. They are protesting racial inequality in the United States.
Given Scully’s history, he should have been able to bring a unique perspective here. He talks about his own time in the U.S. Navy, but then brushes that aside as if it had nothing to do with his decision. He’s expressed admiration for Jackie Robinson — a man he knew well — throughout his career, but doesn’t acknowledge that Robinson later stated he would not stand for the anthem or salute the flag.
For all the people who wish Scully would have just stuck to baseball … well … he didn’t really want to go there. Following the Dodgers’ Game 7 loss in the World Series, Scully told TMZ he “better not give any opinion” on the decision to start Yu Darvish over Clayton Kershaw.
Ultimately, Scully’s making a personal decision by no longer watching the NFL. He’s free to do what he wants. But there will be people who are disappointed Scully has defaulted to the normal reasoning here instead of bringing the unique perspective he brought to his job every day.
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