Is he serious?

Former Red Sox phenom Mookie Betts has traded jerseys and is now chasing balls around the outfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers for a fairly hefty sum of money.

Mookie Betts made it clear from the day he donned a pair of red stockings that he was young, talented, and hungry. In other words, his loyalty would be to himself and his bank account and not to a single team or fan base.

Loyalty just ain't what it used to be. But then again, what is?

The shelf life of a professional athlete is relatively short, so you've gotta make hay while the sun shines, right? Besides, that's professional sports these days. Fans have become used to being second to a big payday.

What struck me about Mookie Betts was when at the beginning of this disaster of a baseball season, he decided to kneel during the national anthem in opposition to oppression. Did I mention that Mookie has the wealthiest contract, I believe, in the history of Major League Baseball at $365 million?

Now Mookie, just like any other American kid, has every right to protest all day long if he wants to. It's a great country that way. But here is a Black kid that just signed a contract worth $365 million, proving 365 million different ways that any kid can make it big – Black, white, or sky blue pink so long as you are willing to put in the work and hustle.

If that's oppression, where do I sign up?

Don't get me wrong, I like Mookie Betts. He is a talented kid. I don't think anyone is worth that much money, but if that is what the market is willing to pay, then so be it.

But just don't get on your knees during the national anthem unless it is to thank the baby Jesus for all that you have, including your $365 million contract and the fact that you were born right here in the good ole U.S. of A., where you can be anything you want to be if you are willing to work hard enough at it.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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