Last year I watched no Major League Baseball. Between the COVID craziness and the political correctness, I couldn't get interested. I admit, at times, it just didn't seem like summer without baseball. This year, I'm over it. Baseball is in the rearview mirror.

Every time I visit my wife's parents in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, I pass by McCoy Stadium, the former home of the Pawtucket Red Sox. There it is, a giant banner over the entrance to McCoy: "BLACK LIVES MATTER." More social warrior messaging greets you as you pass by Fenway on the pike. A constant reminder that baseball has immersed itself into an interminable political debate that most fans aren't interested in having.

Shut up and play ball!

I was actually ready to forgive and forget this year – you know, move on, let bygones be bygones. It seems as though being lectured by self-righteous leftists has become a part of life every which way you turn. Try to ignore it and get on with your life.

But it doesn't stop, and pro-sports continues to be at the forefront of it all. Last week, the Boston Red Sox posted a message on the team's official Facebook page lecturing fans about attitudes towards the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities. The message was in response to an incident in Atlanta that was never classified as a "hate crime" or domestic terrorism," as the ball club suggests. Facts don't matter when the holier than thou crowd spouts off.

On Friday, Major League Baseball pulled the annual All-Star Game out of Atlanta based on a bunch of misinformation about Georgia's new election laws. The decision will cost the people of Atlanta more than $100 million, not to mention lost jobs.

Between kneeling during the anthem and overpaid athletes who politicize invitations to the White House, it's become a chore to be a sports fan these days.

Enough is enough.

Major League Baseball needs to worry more about appealing to a new audience that can sustain the game into the future. Younger sports fans find baseball to be a long and boring game that is difficult to watch. And now the league is alienating its older, loyal fan base through lectures and political correctness.

I, for one, have had it. I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio and have spent countless hours at Fenway and other MLB parks enjoying the game. I will never forget the thrill of 2004. But unless the league gets back to baseball and away from social consciousness, they will carry on without me.

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 barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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