The White Sox only had a debate that it feels like every team in North American sports will have in the next year or two. But honestly, what does it matter if the White Sox had decided to not play yesterday’s game? Canceled or postponed games out of respect for those killed or injured by another mass shooting have become as ubiquitous as the shootings themselves. It’s no different than the Mavericks in the playoffs after Uvalde. Or perhaps what the Phillies will have to talk about tomorrow. It’s all part of the same sick cycle.
We’ve done all this. We saw NBA players walk out of playoff games in The Bubble. NHL players eventually followed. We’ve seen the quotes, or shirts, or gestures. It isn’t that they aren’t necessary or appreciated, because they are to an extent. But they also feel part of the script. We’ve all seen a thread like this enough to write one from memory.
I supposed there’s some treatise to be written about the differences between Highland Park and the South Side of Chicago, which the White Sox are meant to represent, and how they’ll be linked in the most callous and ignorant fashion by those with an agenda to keep us in exactly this prison that we’re in. Or someone will make a joke that if the Sox always had to debate whether or not to play a game after a shooting close by they’d never actually play. But the South Side and Highland Park and anywhere in between, or anywhere else, were always linked. It’s shattering and fist-through-the-wall infuriating that it takes yet another mass shooting to highlight it, but we’re all linked by being held hostage by a vociferous and well-moneyed minority. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Lawndale just trying to get to school or the north shore. We’re held hostage by the fact that anyone, even some fuckwit kid whose biggest grievance was probably not ever getting a blowjob and then took it out on the world, can have a weapon of mass destruction.
Which makes whatever gesture the Sox wanted to make moot. Whatever quotes before or after the game, just like the ones from Sacha Kljestan above. There’s no one left to convince. There is no middle to be won over. Everyone has chosen their side and will not be moved. There’s the right side and the wrong side, it’s just that the latter has the money and just enough senators in its pocket. We can kick and scream, no matter our status and reach, but there’s no heart left to be turned. You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t you truly are lost. Fuck, there was a time when writing something like this on a site like this would be something of an eye-opener. It’s not anymore, and even if it was there’s no one reading this who’s available to be flipped, you know where you stand. Everyone’s in their trench, with no foot gained.
The games continuing are an indictment. The games being stopped, if they were, would be an indictment. There being no levers to pull is almost certainly the way the NRA and GOP want it. It’s not that we’re uncaring or unmotivated. So are plenty of hostages. It’s just that all we see are walls. So really what does it matter if the Sox put on their cleats or not or have a moment of silence or not?
It’ll be some other team’s question to wrestle with, and it’ll only be a couple days. There are no wrong answers, only because there really isn’t a right one either. The White Sox shouldn’t be required to have the answers, because everyone knows what they are. Most people want them. Perhaps there will come a day when what most people want is actually the law of the land, perhaps before we’re all dead.