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Military Appreciation Nights


Bouj

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I just wanted to get some feedback, since the topic has come up before, and I spoke to my brother-in-law about it (he's an active duty Marine). And I know it has been addressed a few other times in other threads, but I want to hit it on its own.

I know some people on the board feel very strongly about this (I think Gothamite and Ballwonk were very against the camo jersey), so I wanted to throw something out there. I know that some people on here are really bothered by the camo jersey on Military Appreciation Night promotion, and the Padres Sudnay home alternate jerseys (the sand camo jersey). Would it be better for these teams to wear a kahki jersey (like the Padres road primary jersey) than a camo jersey? My brother-in-law made an interesting point about the Marine camo: they don't just wear it whenever or wherever they feel like it. It can't be worn on leave or liberty, only on duty. Playing a game seems to not quite be on the level of work as active-duty military personnel.

I'm not arguing with the gesture. Any money raised by these events is great, and should be applauded. But is offensive to those who are/were serving our country for the ballplayers to wear camo?

In addition, would it be less bothersome if the teams toned it down, like LSU baseball did in 2006. They wore a black jersey with camo lettering. Or should the teams do away with special uniforms all together, even if the auction of the jerseys goes to military personnel? And is the Washington Nats new blue alternate (the one with the Stars & Stripes "DC" logo) as bothersome, since it is using flag elements?

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If it were any other team in any other city, then I'd find the new Nats alt to be unnecessary. However, in the nation's capital, it works rather well. I'd prefer the bill on the hat to be blue, though.

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My objection to military appreciation jerseys is simply the addition of another pointless alternate.

I don't see a problem with honouring the military in and of itself. I'm just sure there's a better way to do it then a special jersey.

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Why not a camo jersey? What's the harm? If you don't like it, don't go or don't watch it. If it's raising money for a good cause, the what's the big deal? If the people who are in the military didn't appreciate it or like it, they wouldn't do it, but before you get your panties in a wad, why don't you ask someone who's stationed at Camp Pendleton whether their offended by it or not. The thing is, is it's the the people who are stationed at Camp Pendleton and the likes that give you the opportunity to have your freedom to criticize the Padres or whomever. If they don't have a problem with it and they like it, I have no problem at all with it. Until they start throwing a tizzy fit, then I'm all for it.

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To me, the Padres sand uniforms are almost similar to wearing khakis so wearing a camo jersey is a solid way of identifying them as specific for Military Appreciation Day. If the whole league did this and used a similar template, ala St. Patrick's Day uni's in minor league hockey I'd think it was rather shallow. San Diego makes a good effort to stand out

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Why not a camo jersey? What's the harm? If you don't like it, don't go or don't watch it. If it's raising money for a good cause, the what's the big deal?

Please point to me where a portion of the proceeds from camouflage baseball jerseys in Cincinnati or Chicago has been specified to benefit anything other than the balance sheet of Major League Baseball.

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I don't think teams really need to wear a different uniform to honour the military. Why not just donate your gate receipts for the night to a veteran's or military charity and give some free tickets to military members, vets and their families? I'm not sure that camo jersey's are a particularly classy way of showing respect.

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As a former Marine(Infantry 0331) I have no problem with the camo jerseys. I asked my brother who is a Marine(active duty Infantry 0331) and he said he don't mind. Then I went ahead and asked my other brother who is Leaving for Marine Boot Camp Parris Island(Infantry 0331) next week and he said he thinks the camo is cool too.

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If camo honors the troops, then Wal Mart and slack jawed hicks are honoring the hell out of the military with their Tazmanian Devil camo shirts.

It's ugly.

It's stupid.

Take all that money you would spend on advertising the special game, making the special unis, making that night's giveaways and just give it to the damn troops.

My family has had people in the military (most in the Army) since we landed on this rock. Both my brothers have served overseas and both roll their eyes at people sporting camo. It's like seeing a regular person eating an MRE because they like the taste.

A patch? Sure. Army green hat? Hell, yeah. Camo? F*** no.

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there aint much out there that screams "military" like camouflage. That said, there are currently no laws against civilians wearing it (at least not here, though there are countries that do have such laws), so to me, it's a non-issue.

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I don't see the problem with this. If they are trying to honor somebody or something isn't it the thought that counts? If they honestly mean well and think enough about this group of people to try to honor them, what could be wrong with that? If they are doing something very inappropriate or off-limits people will let them know and they will tweak the way they are doing things. Sure, it might look dumb if any team but the Padres tries to pull off camo, but they are trying. That is better than not giving a :ghostface: . I have some friends in various branches of the military and none of them have ever mentioned feeling disrespected by this kind of thing. Personally and aesthetically I think teams should use camo-colored (Brown, Green, Tan, Sand, Khaki) uniforms instead of camo-patterned uniforms. These should just be the regular home or road jersey recolored, but with a special patch on them and an American Flag somewhere. That would be classy and look great. But it doesn't mean the camo route is disrespectful, it just means it looks bad IMO.

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Why not a camo jersey? What's the harm? If you don't like it, don't go or don't watch it. If it's raising money for a good cause, the what's the big deal?

Please point to me where a portion of the proceeds from camouflage baseball jerseys in Cincinnati or Chicago has been specified to benefit anything other than the balance sheet of Major League Baseball.

This.

I don't think teams really need to wear a different uniform to honour the military. Why not just donate your gate receipts for the night to a veteran's or military charity and give some free tickets to military members, vets and their families? I'm not sure that camo jersey's are a particularly classy way of showing respect.

And this.

That would be truer to the concept of Military Appreciation then simply trotting out a khaki or camo jersey in an effort to sell more stuff.

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I guess my problem is with the word "honor" in the phrase "honor the troops." Call me old-fashioned, but a bunch of extraordinarily fit young men of military age playing dress-up in soldier clothes to play a game for money does not strike me as an act of "honoring" anything. If the Padres or the White Sox or the Reds want to call it, "Players dress up like soldiers," instead of "honoring the troops," I'd be all for it.

When the Washington Nationals host wounded soldiers and their families in the expensive seats, and then between innings announce their names and ask the crowd to stand to applaud them for their service, that to me is an act of "honoring" the troops.

So. Young men who could be serving their country in wartime but instead play a game for money dressing up in soldier clothes =/= "honoring the troops." Bringing soldiers and their families to the game for free and inviting the crowd to pay tribute to them = "honoring the troops." Pretty simple distinction, I would think, between empty symbolism and meaningful action. It's the difference between putting a yellow ribbon magnet on your car and sending care packages to your local National Guard unit while it's serving overseas.

The sad thing is that the Padres organization does a lot to actually honor the troops, with assistance to military families and fundraisers and the like. It's a shame that the marketing folks have to get involved and try to associate their perfectly legitimate "sell-more-jerseys-for-our-own-benefit" plans with the very real "honor-the-troops" work that the team does. Plus, the Padres already have a uniform set that pays symbolic tribute to the military, with the white and the sand uniforms. Why not just wear the sand road uniforms at home, with the green cap if need be? It's not like there'd be any difficulty telling the tan home team from the gray road team, and the visitors can wear their alt shirts if necessary. Problem solved!

Other teams could do things like adopt-a-unit and wear that unit's patch on the right sleeve while that unit is overseas, in conjunction with fundraising efforts to benefit families of that unit or veterans generally. Bring unit members and their families to games when they're back in the States. That sort of thing. Puts the emphasis on the deeds, not the symbolism. (Most importantly, takes the emphasis off of merchandise sales.)

Also, most of the camo uniforms (sales of which do not benefit anyone other than MLB) have the American flag on the sleeve. That is a direct violation of the U.S. Flag Code, which though not a criminally enforceable law on account of the First Amendment, is nonetheless the law of the land and the established standard of proper respect for the American flag. What that means is that every time a Padre slides into a base or dives to make a catch in his camo jersey, he's literally dragging the American flag across the dirt and grass. And call me old fashioned, but to my mind you don't "honor" our troops by dragging the flag they serve through the mud for sport.

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It's a shame that the marketing folks have to get involved and try to associate their perfectly legitimate "sell-more-jerseys-for-our-own-benefit" plans with the very real "honor-the-troops" work that the team does.

I don't know the economics here, so I may or may not agree with you. If the sale of these third jerseys has a direct benefit to the military charities, I have no problem with it. If they are selling them and pocketing the profits, then we are in agreement.

I know a few years ago the Gwinnett Gladiators did a one-off jersey for military appreciation day, with an auction the following weekend and all of the profits went to a military charity. In these situations, I have ZERO problem with a camo or other similar styled jersey.

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To me, it's offensive UNLESS it's a fundraiser for military families. For all of our talk of "honoring" the troops, what we're really doing is "thanking" them for our sacrifice by sitting in a ballpark drinking beer while they are on their fifth or sixth tour of duty. That is not "honoring" anyone; it's just an empty show of paitriotism designed to make us feel like we're actually sharing the burden. We're not, and to pretend otherwise is why I think it's disrespectful.

It's like having a SECOND patriotic song ("God Bless America" since apparently God actually cares about man-made borders) and thinking it's doing anything. If we were to add another song in the third inning would we be 33% more patriotic? How about a loyalty oath at the turnstiles?

These empty shells of patriotism such as slapping a Chinese-made "Support the Troops" bumper sticker on a gas-guzzling SUV do not help anyone (except the Chinese magnetic ribbon industry). There are much more productive ways to actually resolve the terrible stress our military is under than "camoflauge night". Ted Williams volunteered. To play dress-up and call it significant is just kind of silly.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant.

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And this isn't even getting into the territory of the "American Defenders of Connecticut," an indie league team addressed here before, which wears full-time camo with a yellow-ribboned "USA" on the front, all as part of a shallow campaign to sell a faux-patriotic brad of baseball mitt.

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And this isn't even getting into the territory of the "American Defenders of Connecticut," an indie league team addressed here before, which wears full-time camo with a yellow-ribboned "USA" on the front, all as part of a shallow campaign to sell a faux-patriotic brad of baseball mitt.

But, to be fair, no one has invaded Connecticut since the "American Defenders" have been there, so they must be doing a great job. :-) Take that, England!

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback. In an informal poll of the people nearest and dearest to me who do serve (~12), the overwhelming sentiment was "Who cares? At least it is benefitting the military & their families". The only ones who had any problem with the camo jersey were my brother-in-law and one of his fellow Marines. They weren't belligerently against it or anything, they just thought it was kind of stupid since Marines have strict rules about wearing camo (only on duty).

No one really minded the flag patch or the Nats "DC" flag chest logo. However, everyone did go off on US Flag-patterned shirts and clothing (a separate issue).

Why not a camo jersey? What's the harm? If you don't like it, don't go or don't watch it. If it's raising money for a good cause, the what's the big deal? If the people who are in the military didn't appreciate it or like it, they wouldn't do it, but before you get your panties in a wad, why don't you ask someone who's stationed at Camp Pendleton whether their offended by it or not. The thing is, is it's the the people who are stationed at Camp Pendleton and the likes that give you the opportunity to have your freedom to criticize the Padres or whomever. If they don't have a problem with it and they like it, I have no problem at all with it. Until they start throwing a tizzy fit, then I'm all for it.

I have no problem with the Padres or anyone else doing any of this. I wasn't "getting my panties in a wad" about it. I just wanted to get some other opinions since my brother-in-law (again, an Marine who is being redeployed over there Where They Hate Us For Our Freedom) and I discussed it before.

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