I am extremely disappointed in the Royals’ response to Rany Jazayerli’s blog post of June 24, 2009. Blacklisting Rany Jazayerli from Kauffman Stadium is fundamentally upsetting to me. This shows a lack of class and lack of respect for the basic right of free speech, and the Royals’ response should be protested.
I would have been able to tolerate, even understand, a response of blacklisting someone if Rany Jazayerli were employed or associated with the Royals in any professional capacity. But he’s not. Rany identifies himself on his blog as a dermatologist, blogger, and Royals fan. For years he’s been extremely articulate, incisive, and at times, critical of the Kansas City Royals organization from an outsider’s perspective, and my personal fandom of the Royals has been made all the better by his independent contributions to discussions of my most beloved sports franchise. It is very sad to hear that as a result of his love for the Royals (admittedly, sometimes a "tough love" as in his 6/24/2009), the powers that be have deemed him a pariah.
I’ve been a Royals fan all my life, but this lack of acceptance of freedom of speech by the Royals offends me as a person and citizen of this country. It’s not about whether Nick Swartz should be fired or not. At this point, I could care less, because freedom of speech comes first for me, before fandom. In result, it pains me to say this but I am no longer a fan of the Royals until they issue Rany a public apology. As such, I will no longer provide any support to the Royals – whether that be be monetary, emotionally, and sadly, contributing to this website.
The Royals’ front office response to Rany fundamentally offended my sense of right and wrong, and I will not sacrifice that for anyone, even the franchise that I have loved for so long. It’s time to move on. I wish the Royals all the best, and I extend a warm thank you to all of the contributors to Royals Review. This is an excellent online community – the Royals have such a wealth of intelligent and thougtful fans, it amazes me that so many bright people have been able to tolerate so many years of managerial and company executive ineptitude. But alas, that’s part of being a fan, and I have such a deep respect for you all. It really saddens me to leave this behind. Hopefully, this will not be a permanent self-imposed exile.
All the best,