We lost Vin Scully. But we have not lost his words. This means that we have not lost his values and sense of right and wrong.
Many will talk about Scully’s bold rant against socialism while broadcasting to a Los Angeles-based audience likely made up of many socialists or those who sympathize with them. But Scully’s most important transmission of values and patriotism may have come in a different setting shortly after.
In November 2017, as thousands of NFL players, coaches, executives and employees knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick every weekend, Scully spoke at an event titled: An evening with Vin Scully at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Scully was asked about the league’s response to the anthem protests. The legendary broadcaster was not detained.
“I just have a personal thought, really. And I’m so disappointed,” Scully said. “I enjoyed, during the fall and winter, watching the NFL on Sunday. And it’s not that I’m a big patriot. I was in the Navy for a year. It didn’t go anywhere. Did nothing. But I have incredible respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So all I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”
— Conan Nolan (@conanNBCLA) November 5, 2017
This feeling of common sense honor and respect for those who fought for this country was probably a principle instilled in him at an early age and never seriously questioned. Although the moment he said it, it was disputed. It was asked daily, and those who got it “wrong,” like Scully and probably everyone reading this article, were scorned and ridiculed.
For Scully, a Los Angeles resident in one of the most visible places in all of deep blue California, this scorn and ridicule could have far more serious consequences, personally and professionally.
But he didn’t care. He said it. Why; Because for all his brilliant qualities as a broadcaster and storyteller, Vin Scully’s best and most admirable qualities were courage and honesty. The courage and honesty to speak out against socialism when it wasn’t cool anymore, the courage to speak out against the kneeling anthem when 99.999 percent of the sports media either agreed with it or were too afraid to disagree with it in public, and the courage to broadcast booth the same for decades.
Some will argue that Scully’s legendary status as a broadcaster shielded him from the consequences others might face for speaking out so strongly against the left. Fair point. My answer is that he would have said it anyway.
For though he was brilliant, he was more brave than brilliant. And the courage to speak up in defense of what made his country great when the whole world was against him will always, to me, be his greatest legacy.