As expected, earlier this afternoon the Phillies announced that they were completely disassociating from Pete Rose. Here's the official statement from the team:
Pete Rose will not participate in Phillies Alumni Weekend events. Full statement attached. pic.twitter.com/EWB9BD7cy0— Phillies (@Phillies) August 2, 2017
There's lots good here: Pete Rose will not be involved with the weekend, the bobble head promotion is canceled, and there will be no ceremony honoring him into the Wall of Fame. Good riddance! Beyond Rose, the Alumni Weekend will still happen. However, for fans who are disappointed, they can get their tickets exchanged.
Not mentioned here is whether he will still, without a ceremony, get a plaque in the Wall of Fame. But, that was cleared up by beat reporter Meghann Montemurro, who confirmed that there will be no plaque for Rose on the Wall:
As part of the decision, Pete Rose's plaque will not be added to the Phillies Wall of Fame.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 2, 2017
This is all good news coming from a team that is often loathe to rock the boat. Kudos to the Phillies for doing the right thing!
Well, except for one thing. That quote from Rose in the press release is an abomination. I'm sure he didn't say/write that and instead it was spoonfed to him by the Phillies' press office, but putting that in the press release does a disservice to what this is about. This decision isn't about Rose being honorable enough to bow out of the weekend because he's concerned for the fans' best interest. What this is about, or rather, what it should be about, is a sports franchise saying unambiguously that sexual assault and rape in all forms is unacceptable.
In the coming days, as more is written about this, the Phillies need to make this clear. They need to state repeatedly that they will not tolerate or countenance sexual assault or rape of any kind. Making this statement is important, no matter how many old-timey Rose fans it may piss off.
And, given the situation, the Phillies still should step up and donate a sizable chunk to Women Organized Against Rape and the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition. These are issues that an organization like the Phillies has the power to take the lead on, rather than be purely reactive (and reactive in this wishy-washy way).
In other words, it's wonderful that the Phillies acted quickly and did the right thing here, but they need to do more.
As part of cancellation of Pete Rose #phillies Aug 12 Wall of Fame night , all 35,000 Rose giveaway bobbleheads Aug 11 will be destroyed— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) August 2, 2017