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(LifeSiteNews) — Those who thought Colin Kaepernick taking a knee for the national anthem was an aggressively irritating intrusion of politics into professional sports are probably feeling pretty nostalgic for ol’ Colin these days. As it turns out, some good old-fashioned squabbling over respect for national symbols was pretty tame compared with the culture wars rocking the sports world these days. In 2023, it isn’t about a few athletes taking a knee during the national anthem — it’s about every athlete bending the knee to the LGBT flag.

The latest round of debates started with the Los Angeles Dodgers (that’s a baseball team, for those of you who are as ignorant about sports as I am) deciding to invite a blasphemous LGBT drag troupe called “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” who dress up like nuns and put on sexualized performances mocking Christian stories and symbolism (all of it is too repulsive to link to). Despite backlash, the Dodgers stuck to their guns. Washington Nationals pitcher Trevor Williams strongly condemned the Dodgers’ decision on Twitter, and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw came out and condemned his own team’s decision; relief pitcher Blake Treinen followed up with a statement of his own, writing in part:

I understand that playing baseball is a privilege, and not a right. My convictions in Jesus Christ will always come first. Since I have been with the Dodger’s they have been at the forefront of supporting a wide variety of groups. However, inviting the Sister’s [sic] of Perpetual Indulgence to perform disenfranchises a large community and promotes hate of Christians and people of faith. This single event alienates the fans and supporters of the Dodgers, Major League Baseball, and professional sports. People like baseball for its entertainment value and competition. The fans do not want propaganda or politics forced on them. The debacle with Bud Light and Target should be a warning to companies and professional sports to stay true to their brand and leave the propaganda and politics off the field.

There has been no response from the Dodgers so far, but the Toronto Blue Jays have cracked down hard on one of their players who dared to express dissent from the LGBT agenda. Pitcher Anthony Bass made the mistake of sharing a clip on social media that expressed support for the ongoing boycott of Target over their “Pride” line of merchandise for children, and he was immediately forced into making a groveling, hard-to-watch apology. “I recognize yesterday I made a post that was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine, close family members of mine,” he said in a clip posted by the Blue Jays. “I am truly sorry for that. I just spoke with my teammates and shared my actions yesterday and apologized with them. As of right now I’m using the Blue Jays resource to better educate myself to make better decision going forward.”

Do you think that public struggle session was enough? Of course not. Blue Jays general manager John Schneider followed up by saying, “We’re not going to pretend like this never happened. We’re not going to pretend like it’s the end and move on. There are definitely more steps that are going to follow.” Pride Toronto executive director Sherwin Modeste concurred, saying that Bass’ apology for supporting the Target boycott was a “first step” but that it is important that he “goes beyond an apology.” Bass, who got booed when he headed out onto the field at a game recently, will be put through full re-education training. Modeste wants him to meet with “the community” so that the pitcher can understand how his support for boycotting a company marketing LGBT merchandise to children “made them feel.”

Everything is political now, and every athlete will be forced to make a choice: participate, or dissent and face the consequences. According to Robby Starbuck, there is a growing group of baseball players who are committed to collectively refusing if asked to wear “Pride” or transgender jerseys, and we saw recently how the courage of a single NHL player to wear a “Pride” jersey had the domino effect of encouraging many other players to follow suit. If players decide to buckle, like Bass, the power of the LGBT community grows exponentially. But if the stars refuse to play their game, their influence crumbles overnight. We’ll be seeing a lot of choices like this made over the next month.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.