MLB Prevents Mets from Honoring 9/11 Heroes
There was a lot of pride mixed in with sadness this weekend when the country paid tribute to those who died on September 11, 2001. This was especially true at sporting events, where the teams and players made their own offerings. Things were especially meaningful in New York and Washington due to their direct connection to the tragedy. Even the "No Fun League" (NFL) allowed players to break the normally stringent dress code this weekend to show their support. This made the actions of the MLB against the New York Mets all the more confusing when they prevented the team from wearing NYPD, FDNY and PANY hats.
As reported by ESPN, the team planned to honor their hometown heroes on the tenth anniversary of the attacks by wearing hats from the city's first responders. The Mets wore similar caps during the remainder of the 2001 season after the events of 9/11. MLB objected then, as well.
Although they were again prohibited from wearing non-uniform hats, Mets players still planned to wear them, even under the threat of a heavy fine. However, MLB officials didn't give the Mets another opportunity to ignore the rule. League officials showed up at the game to physically take the hats away from players.
The immediate question that comes to mind is why did the MLB feel it was so important to prevent the Mets from showing their support? There has been no real explanation other than maintaining consistency. All teams wore commemorative New Era caps in honor of 9/11 that had an American flag on them. These hats could then potentially be marketed and sold. The Mets were planning to go against the grain in their act of defiance. Obviously, the league needs to protect their brand, but in instances like this, it just makes them come across as greedy and insensitive.