Each country in the world will have at least one sport that will elicit a reaction when the nation is mentioned. England? They are undoubtedly the forerunners of football (soccer). India? Well, they are extremely proficient in cricket. New Zealand? The definitive home of cricket. But when someone mentions America, three sports come to mind. It is the home of American football, basketball, and of course, baseball. The sport of baseball remains in a unique position though: it is the only sport in America that was created in the country that is dominated by the USA. Baseball has a rich betting scene, a bet365 sign up code to bet can be found here, and is enjoyed by millions of Americans.
The origins of baseball are told in legends regarding a Civil War hero called Abner Doubleday, the alleged creator of the game. The picture invokes images of patriotism, but it is not altogether factual. The true origin of baseball remains unknown, and it only really took off during the 19th century. Only in the 20th century did the game explode in popularity through the likes of Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, firmly establishing itself as one of America’s and even the world’s major sports, as can be seen by its popularity in Asia.
The USA currently sit fourth in the world’s rankings for men’s baseball. Despite being bested in baseball by Asia, the sport is revered by people across the world and has a rich history in the country. Some of the sporting greats have come from the sport, the prime example being Babe Ruth, arguably America’s greatest sportsperson. Although the sport has a long history, it is not altogether positive.
The birthing period of America was awash in traditional values, especially concepts of masculinity. As baseball was invented around this time, it is unsurprising why some of these values are ingrained into the sport. As a result of this, there has been a divide between baseball and people who identify as LGBTQ. The traditional image of the baseball player is a heterosexual, strong, macho man, and so it is easy to see why this could offend certain people in the community. Many cases have exhibited themselves over the years where members of the LGBTQ community have been discriminated against. One such can be seen in 2020, where Fox Sports announcer Thom Brennaman used a homophobic slur to talk about a gay person. There are numerous examples of this in the sport and highlights how deep the issue runs.
However, this is not limited to baseball and all sports suffer from discrimination issues of this kind. On the positive side, leagues have introduced female leagues to break away from these traditional values in the name of fair play. The Kick it Out scheme in the UK’s top division of football also shows commitment to reducing the amount of racism in the game. In the case of baseball, recently the Oakland Athletics renamed their Pride Night in honour of celebrating the first openly gay man in the NBL – Glenn Burke. The sport is moving away from its negative past, and this kind of action should be encouraged to continue to further the evolution of the sport.