Kenneth K. Lamb-The Baltimore Sun

This is not an article discussing politics, but rather one that focuses on the times when societal problems affect the realm of sports. While we appreciate everyone’s opinion, please keep comments centered on the idea that sports are, and can be,  affected by different environments and issues.

Civil unrest has occurred throughout the history of the world, but it is directly affecting the sports world this week. With the death of Freddie Gray, who died from injuries allegedly caused while in police custody in Baltimore, the streets have been filled with civil unrest (some call them protests, others riots) as a result. This has negatively impacted the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Major League Baseball, while causing a postponement that is not weather-related. These postponements occur very rarely, but it was a smart move by all parties involved in the decision.

The civil unrest that is currently happening in Baltimore has caused the Orioles and White Sox to postpone games one and two of their series, and possibly the final game as well. No makeup dates have been determined, and it could also affect the next home series that Baltimore has, which begins Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. This can have an effect on many things, but mainly a profit for the Orioles, as well as fan safety. The newly enforced curfew will also play a part in the future of Baltimore Orioles home games and losses incurred by the organization because of it.

This situation is somewhat new for a team in the United States. Most of the time, civil unrest affects soccer stadiums around the globe, and is caused by fan riots, flares, or political clashes in different countries. These occurrences have killed many people, but they tend to take place in the stadium, and then pour out into surrounding areas. What is going on in Baltimore has nothing to do with sports, other than the fact that it is occurring in close proximity to Camden Yards. Not only has it caused the Orioles to postpone a couple of games, but also it forced them to tell fans to remain briefly in the stadium after Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

Evan Habeeb – USA TODAY Sports

While this tense situation of civil unrest is new to many people, from a sports perspective, there have been other instances in the U.S. that were caused by other types of threats. The biggest one of memory is what was done after the 9/11 attacks in New York, and how it altered sports schedules, and rightfully so. It forced a schedule change for MLB and NFL games alike, but was needed so that all citizens could deal with the terrorist attack that had occurred on American soil. But, there have also been times when the civil unrest took place in the ballpark, and it was started there. One example of this is the White Sox attempt to drive attendance numbers with their “Disco Demolition Night” promotion. What began as a great idea, quickly turned into a nightmarish fiasco. People were climbing over stadium gates, and the riots began when a tub of disco records was blown up.

There are many different types of civil unrest that can throw a wrench in the plans of sports leagues, but what is happening in Baltimore currently is a far different thing than we are used to seeing. When players and fans are at risk, it is a no-brainer to begin canceling games. Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles made a smart decision, and they showed us all that safety is more important than profit, in this case.

*According to ESPN, the Orioles/White Sox game will be played at 2:05 pm EST on Wednesday, and will be closed to the public. The upcoming home series (Fri.-Sun.) against the Rays has been moved to Florida as well.

Dustin Brown covers Major League Baseball for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.

 

 

Dustin BrownAnalysisBaseball#9/11,#Baltimore,#CamdenYards,#civilunrest,#DemolitionDiscoNight,#MLB,#Orioles,#Rays,#WhiteSox,BaseballThis is not an article discussing politics, but rather one that focuses on the times when societal problems affect the realm of sports. While we appreciate everyone's opinion, please keep comments centered on the idea that sports are, and can be,  affected by different environments and issues. Civil unrest has...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?