Saturday, April 12, 2003
Baseball Hall Of Fame cancels Bull Durham anniversary screening.
Stung by anti-war criticism from Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, the baseball Hall of Fame has canceled a 15th anniversary celebration of the film Bull Durham that was to feature the co-stars.
Hall president Dale Petroskey sent a letter to Robbins and Sarandon this week, saying the festivities April 26-27 at Cooperstown, N.Y., had been called off because of their remarks. [...]
The weekend affair, planned months ago, was also to feature Bull Durham actor Robert Wuhl and Ron Shelton, who wrote and directed the 1988 film.
Instead of commemorating the movie, the Hall canceled the celebration in a letter Tuesday sent to the scheduled participants.
"In a free country such as ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions, and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms much larger than the average American's, which provides you an extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly," Petroskey wrote.
"We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict," he wrote.
Robbins and Sarandon, his longtime partner, have been active in peace rallies to protest the war in Iraq. In his letter, Robbins said he remained "skeptical" of the war plans and told Petroskey he did not realize baseball was "a Republican sport."
Bill Howell adds:
Yet the lords of baseball said nothing when this was reported in the Arizona Republic in February: "Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Jerry Colangelo has joined 90 other baseball executives and players in support of a national effort to raise $1 million for an organization that opposes abortion under any circumstance, including rape, incest and saving the life of the mother." They were even allowed to use the ball park for a news conference.