Regardless if he was born neutral, or if he learned restraint from Michael Jordan or another sports superstar who plays it safe, New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter simply doesn't give his opinion often. His baseball opinions are pretty bland, and rarely does he say much about social issues (forget about politics) — though Barbara Walters got him to open up about racism once. And that's OK. He's a baseball player. It doesn't necessarily have to be his place to be a force for social change.
Well, that was Old Jeter. At an economic conference in Switzerland on Wednesday — yes, that's how he spends his offseasons — Jeter came out in the Columbus Dispatch against unregulated carbon emissions:
"It's just something that's gotten so much attention," Jeter said of climate change. "Regardless of how you feel about it, it's something that needs to be addressed because we're seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it seems like. Something has to be causing it."
That is almost ... bold on Jeter's part. Good for The Captain. The effects of Hurricane Sandy cannot be ignored within the New York/New Jersey region, where Jeter lives. He has seen the suffering and devastation, and realizes superstorms like Sandy are not isolated incidents caused by the cyclical nature of Mother Earth's weather patterns. No longer will he be led around by climate change deniers. So now what do we do to save the planet, oh Captain?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. We're not talking to Al Gore, here. This is still Derek Jeter:
Jeter, himself a global icon as the captain of one of the most recognizable and successful sports franchises in the world, said he doesn't try to interject into politics.
"I know my place," Jeter said.
All right. Good enough for now. As Jordan once famously said, everyone buys sneakers — no matter their affiliations. There's no reason to alienate some of the public, people who are your fans who buy tickets to games and cologne and whatever else you might sell, just so everyone knows where you stand on ... whatever.
But what good do sneakers do you when your house is under water?
Big BLS H/N: Hardball Talk