Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Gammons: 'Yankees Suck' is like 'Lock Her Up,' which demeans female assault survivors

Alex Reimer
October 07, 2018 - 11:35 am

Hall of Fame baseball scribe Peter Gammons has a history of firing off baffling tweets, most of which seem to originate in his pockets. But one of Gammons’ latest missives might be his strangest yet. 

On Friday night, Gammons admonished the fans at Fenway Park for chanting “Yankees Suck,” or in his words, “Yankees (—).” But the commissioner didn’t stop there. He compared the rallying cry to Trump supporters screaming “Lock Her Up” at the President’s rallies, which he appeared to suggest belittles female survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“In the eighth inning of what may be a do or die game with the tension of a Game Seven, Nenderthal Fenway Park "fans" chanting "Yankees (---) are eerily like those who chant ‘lock her up’ at a pol rally designed to demean female assault victims' trauma,” Gammons wrote.

In a text message to me, Gammons further explained his stance.

"What struck me in those cases was how they reflected what I worry is the growing lack of respect and acceptance of nihilism," he wrote. "Chanting 'Yankees —-' at a tense, critical juncture of a game the Red Sox needed to win, with two extraordinary teams with clubhouses lined with extraordinary people was thoughtless vile exhibitionism for the sake of being vile. It troubled me that we can accept ridiculing the trauma suffered by abuse victims, in Dr Ford’s case the possibility that what she suffered over the years may have blurred her memory and that without her intent that a potential Supreme Court nominee’s life could be jeopardized in a haze in time. I love baseball, I love the fact that unlike the past, these two talented teams like and respect one another as they do. I hate the mob anger—and whether Kavanaugh is snarky isn’t an issue, and neither are so many of the daily gotchas from the drama of the minority party. Friday night, Sandy Leon blocking 7 pitches in the dirt won a game that was a tightrope walk across the Queechee Gorge. Enjoy every sandwich and respect who and what we are. Let us learn if Kavanaugh turns out to be Whizzer White, 50-something years on."

While I couldn't agree more with Gammons about his take on the grotesque backlash towards Dr. Ford, the comparison is lost on me. Yes, chanting “Yankees Suck” is sophomoric, but I categorize it as ribbing, just like when Yankees fans chant “Boston sucks.” It's a stretch to call it "vile," never mind compare it to the threats Dr. Ford has received since coming forward with her sexual assault allegation against Justice Kavanaugh. 

This post has been updated.