The struggles, salvation and subsequent baseball exploits of Rangers OF Josh Hamilton have been well documented, and while I’ve occasionally poked fun at his efforts to resist temptation in the past, on this holy day, I’ll take a different tact. Instead, I’ll wonder just what fucking planet a sports journalist is living on where he infers Hamilton is a genuine victim of bigotry. The Dallas Morning News’ Jeff WIlson provides Hamilton with a saintly soapbox on a Christmas morning that he’s dragging his kids to a homeless shelter (don’t worry folks, he’s not leaving them there).
By now, Rangers fans know that Hamilton certainly isn’t shy about his faith and his walk with Christ. He feels it’s his duty to tell his story in public forums, which he does many times throughout a given year.
The media presents the best vehicle for Hamilton to spread the word. He did so on ESPN during his remarkable performance in 2008 during the Home Run Derby, and he did so again on TBS in October while accepting the MVP award for the AL Championship Series. A month later, he was back on ESPN chronicling his journey after being named the AL MVP.
“My platform got even bigger,” he said.
But Hamilton never saw the initial interview in replays that day. Everything he had said about his faith was cut, either for time considerations or maybe for political correctness.
Hamilton, though, was only mildly bothered by the omission. He still says “Merry Christmas,” and he won’t be deterred when he sees an opening to give thanks to his Savior.
“It’s all throughout the Bible, people being persecuted in Christ’s name,” he said. “That’s the way it’s always going to be. Some people won’t understand it.
“The people who will be watching who need to hear it, will hear it.”
Assuming this isn’t just a cheap suck-up job directed at Hamilton acolytes in the Dallas area, Wilson could’ve asked MLB’s broadcast partners to confirm or deny whether or not Hamilton’s remarks were edited for any reason besides, y’know, redundancy. But if Josh Hamilton — as popular and celebrated an American pro athlete as any in 2010 — genuinely believes he’s a victim of religious persecution, he’s deeply delusional. I’m starting to think I liked him better when he was on drugs.