Saturday night’s game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox was a nationally-televised vehicle.
The hope was the bitter rivals would pick up where they left off in Friday’s thrilling season-opener, when Boston won in improbable fashion in extra innings after the Yankees (repeatedly) failed to come through with runners in scoring position late in the game.
Instead, the Yankees – led by cult hero Matt Carpenter — mopped the floor with Alex Cora’s club to the tune of a 14-1 beatdown. Carpenter and Aaron Judge belted two home runs apiece and combined for 10 RBI.
The biggest takeaway from the game had nothing to do with what happened in between the foul lines, however.
As FOX went into a commercial break, it aired a disturbing promo that superimposed the Yankees’ and Red Sox’ logos over an aerial shot of Ground Zero, otherwise known as the location of the fallen Twin Towers.
FOX couldn’t have picked a worse landmark for one of its promotional commercials during Yankees-Red Sox on Saturday.
The team logos were superimposed onto the memorial pools that were built to honor the victims of 9/11, while FOX’s “Baseball Night in America” logo can be seen on the memorial plaza. Both the idea and execution were an abomination.
It’s highly unlikely FOX intended to openly mock the memorial, but how did the network not put two-and-two together when the idea was introduced?
This promo would’ve fallen on deaf ears even if the game happened to feature both New York teams. It’s universally understood – or so we thought – that Ground Zero should be off limits for any promotional agendas.
Since it bears repeating, Sept. 11, 2001 is one of the most infamous days in this country’s history. The attacks left 2,977 people dead and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center was built to honor their memory.
The names of those who perished in the attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are written on the walls of the reflecting pool. It’s a sacred ground and FOX, for whatever reason, decided on it as its promotional landmark for Saturday’s rivalry game.
While the Yankees and Mets’ return to action post-9/11 helped a grieving nation achieve a sense of unity, (then-President George Bush’s first pitch at Yankee Stadium and Mike Piazza’s go-ahead home run are prime examples), it’s clear FOX wasn’t making any callback to either of those iconic moments.
FOX has since issued an apology, but that likely won’t do the network any favors after it offended seemingly the entire country.