Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is known for being pretty loose-lipped, but he used to play for the Boston Red Sox. Because of that, reporters had to get his take on the tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.
Like most before him, Papelbon talked about what an awful situation it is for the victims and their families to deal with. However, he also took the opportunity to talk about player safety and gun rights.
“The Phillies did a thing the other day here for us on opening day where we walked through the crowd,” Papelbon said. “I know when I was there in Boston we came down through the bleachers for one opening game. I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I really truly don’t. Today’s day and age has gotten so crazy.
“All this stuff going on and, shoot, (Barack) Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything,” he continued. “And you’ve got this stuff going on? It’s just a little bit insane for me.”
Where should we start? First of all, Monday’s attack was not an attack on celebrities or professional athletes with a higher social standing than the rest of us. I understand Papelbon’s concern about making his way through crowds as a public figure, but the Boston Marathon bombings were an attack on the “common” people, for lack of a better term.
Secondly, professional athletes and people with a large following should be doing their best to lend support and help those affected heal as best they can — not using the event as an avenue to discuss your personal political beliefs regarding gun rights. And as a side note, how would someone with a gun have stopped what took place on Monday?
As cliche as it may sound, there is a time and a place for everything. The day after the tragedy is a time for rivals to band together and players to write heartfelt messages on their equipment. Papelbon was out of line to talk about the safety of MLB players and his views on gun laws.
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H/T Hardball Talk