Baseball team manager defends Blue Lives Matter patch on player’s jerseys

The general manager of a Maryland minor league baseball team shut down an effort to stir up a controversy over a team jersey.

The Abderdeen IronBirds, a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, gained some negative attention for the uniform due to the addition of a Blue Lives Matter patch.

(File Photo: screenshot)

Questions arose about the patch, which was affixed to the back of a jersey seen in a photograph shared on Twitter.

“Hey, the Ironbirds jersey has a Blue Lives Matter flag on the uniform instead of the American flag,” a Twitter user noted.  “Seems like someone should write something about it.”

He followed up by saying he sent the Baltimore Sun something to write about, “and they did.”

He also defended his view in response to the expected backlash in his tweet.

The tweet was quickly slammed by other Twitter users who called out the effort for trying to “stir up controversy.”

IronBirds general manager Matt Slatus stepped in to douse the fire, explaining that there is nothing political in the placement of the Blue Lives Matter patch on the team’s jerseys.

The symbol, a gray American flag with a blue line going across one of the stripes, was used on the shirts to honor  Harford County Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, who were both killed in the line of duty in 2016.

“To recognize the two of them, we began wearing that patch and to recognize all of law enforcement, not just in Harford County but in the state of Maryland and around the country,” Slatus told the Baltimore Sun.

Dailey was 52 years old when he died and was a 30-year veteran of the sheriff’s office while Logsdon, 43,  was with the sheriff’s office for 16 years.

“We were fortunate to be able to retire the badge numbers of the two Harford County deputies, but I think as a nod to them and a note to their families and to those who protect us around the country, we continue to wear that patch, and we’re proud of it,” Slatus said.

“We are not a political organization by any means,” he added. “We’re here to provide affordable family fun and entertainment to the Upper Chesapeake region. We’re here to develop baseball players and make sure that, most importantly, people come out to the ballpark and have a great time.”

A spokesman for the organization that owns the IronBirds told the Baltimore Sun that fans have been largely supportive of the patch.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback for this action,” Ripken Baseball spokesman John Maroon said.

“This incident left deep scars on our community and we are proud and honored in the way which we have recognized he officers and law enforcement. We have every intention of continuing to recognize the officers and honor their service moving forward,” he added.

Slatus made it very clear that the team was not about to get pulled into a political debate over the symbol.

“This is not a political discussion. It’s not a political point,” he said. “We continue to honor and recognize the memory of the two deputies who tragically — while trying to protect the region — lost their lives in Harford County.”

Twitter users who slammed the original tweet also praised the team’s general manager.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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