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Icons Getting Political

It seems like everyone is getting political this election season. There are interesting articles from The New York Times and Salon on Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays and P-Diddy, of bad hip-hop and MTV fame. Here are some excerpts:

New York Times: “Delgado Makes a Stand by Taking a Seat”

Last March when the United States invaded Iraq, Delgado, in his own quiet way, said that for him, enough was enough. He had stood for “God Bless America” through the 2003 season but vowed not to do so this season. In an act of a simple, mostly unnoticed, protest against the war, Delgado, a 32-year-old first baseman, has chosen to remain in the dugout while “God Bless America” is played.

Good for him. In the world of mainstream professional sports, where cookie-cutter athletes rarely take a stand on any issue, let alone one as highly charged as a war, Delgado is a rarity. He is unafraid to question a ritual that he does not agree with. Delgado’s protest this season has been so quiet, so subtle that Bud Selig, the baseball commissioner, didn’t know about it until I called him to talk about it on Monday.

His well-thought-out opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is just one part of a larger issue for him. Delgado, a native of Puerto Rico, sees his protest as consistent with his earlier opposition to the Navy’s use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a weapons testing ground. In many ways, the United States military waged a form of war for 60 years on the tiny island, using a 900-acre site for bombing exercises.

Delgado is doing it right. He believes in something and he’s making that known. He’s not doing it for exposure or publicity, he’s just a baseball player who follows politics and is doing what he believes is right. I’m glad someone gave him the recognition he deserves and I hope he is not treated harshly by any fans for his decision.

Salon: “P. Diddy’s appeal to youth: ‘We will attack all of your senses'”

Combs says that he will utilize all of his “God-given talents as a marketer to market this election” and “make politics fashionable.”

Combs thinks that his effort to market the presidential election will attract the “largest youth and minority voter turnout in history.” His plan to make it happen? “We will attack all of your senses,” Combs says. That means huge “Vote or Die” signs on street corners, a new P. Diddy album about voting out before November and a last-minute celebrity blitz in swing states in the days leading up to the election, including trips on Combs’ own campaign jet.

Mobilizing the black community to vote is incredibly important and no matter what I personally feel about ‘Diddy,’ I commend him for using his resources and marketing know-how for a good cause.

July 21, 2004