OP/ED: Root Root Root For the First Responders

On Sept. 11, the New York Mets held a ceremony before their game against the Chicago Cubs, to honor those who fought for our country and lost their lives for us. The team wore Fire Department of New York and New York Police Department hats to honor the first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those who were not “invited” to the ceremonies held at Ground Zero earlier that day, due to “lack of room,” were invited to the game by the Mets themselves.

I don’t remember New York’s finest and bravest who helped out 10 years ago being invited to help out those in need on sight.

When the game began, the players were told to take off their caps and return them, even though some players wanted to wear them during the game. The reason they were not allowed to wear them during the game was due to a uniform code that former New York Yankees’ manager Joe Torre enforced. Torre is now Major League Baseball’s Executive vice president of operations, and spoke to the Mets several times during the week prior.

Torre said he had used his experience managing the Yankees in 2001 to inform his decision. In the World Series that season, the Yankees wore caps honoring the first responders during warm-ups before switching to their official hats for the game. I know the Yankees have a strict uniform policy that says they have to be clean cut, with no facial hair and their hair has to be above the collar, but the Mets don’t have that policy. I personally hate the Yankees, and therefore, I think that it was uncalled for that the Mets couldn’t show their respect during the game. Why does it have to be a warm-up hat?

I think the Mets should have been allowed to wear the caps because they are a New York team and it was the tenth anniversary of the attacks. The first game back after the attacks on Sept. 21, 2001, the Mets were told not to wear non-logo caps by the league. However, Bobby Valentine, who was manager of the team at the time, handed out FDNY and NYPD caps to the team anyway.

I don’t understand why they couldn’t wear FDNY and NYPD caps during a highly memorable day of an attack. On the Fourth of July, teams wear red, white, and blue. The Mets wear jerseys with “Los Mets” written across the chest on Hispanic Heritage Night at Citi Field. They can change their whole uniform for one night, but have to change their hats for one game? It doesn’t make sense.

Some of the players themselves wanted to wear the caps during the game.

On R.A. Dickey’s Twitter account he wrote, “For all those upset that we didn’t wear the hats, I understand your anger…however, they physically took them from us after the ceremony.”

Even if they weren’t allowed to wear them during the game, why take them away from the players? What if they wanted to keep them and wear them in between innings? Maybe they wanted to show their respect and their thankfulness to the first responders whom they invited to the game because they were not allowed to go to ceremonies down at Ground Zero.

Sure, things were different 10 years ago when the attacks first happened, and it was to commemorate those lost, but during the 10th year anniversary, don’t you think they should have commemorated again? I think so. I believe they should have been allowed to wear what they wore 10 years ago to show respect to their audience that night.

– Kristen McGovern