Plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the popular baseball movie Bull Durham later this month in Cooperstown, N.Y. were cancelled Wednesday because of anti-war criticisms made by two of the film's co-stars.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum issued a release saying the recent views expressed by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."
'BULL DURHAM' CO-STARS
Susan Sarandon and her partner Tim Robbins, flash the peace sign as they arrive for the 75th annual Academy Awards, March 23, 2003, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson, File)
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Call Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey and let him know!
The event, scheduled for April 26-27, had been planned many months ago, according to Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey.
Petroskey sent the following letter -- which was attached to an e-mail message distributed to Hall of Fame employees -- to Robbins and Sarandon:
"The President of the United States, as this nation's democratically-elected leader, is constitutionally bound to make decisions he believes are in the best interests of the American people. After months of careful deliberations, President Bush made the decision that it is in our nation's best interests to end the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein, and to disarm Iraq of deadly weapons which could be used against its enemies, including the United States. In order to accomplish this, nearly 300,000 American military personnel are in harm's way at the moment. From the first day we opened our doors in 1939, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- and many players and executives in Baseball's family -- has honored the United States and those who defend our freedoms.
"In a free country such as ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions, and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms much larger than the average American's, which provides you an extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly. We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict.
"As a result, we have decided to cancel the April 26-27 programs in Cooperstown commemorating the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham."
In his e-mail message to the Hall's employees, Petroskey wrote, "Sarandon and Robbins have publicly criticized the U.S.'s position to change the Iraqi regime, and to rid the Iraqis of deadly weapons which could be used against its enemies, including the United States."
It is not known if Robbins and Sarandon, who are married, have seen or responded to the decision.
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Who is Dale Petroskey?
Prior to joining the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Petroskey was assistant secretary of public affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, serving as Secretary Elizabeth Dole's senior spokesperson. He served in the White House as assistant press secretary to President Ronald Reagan from April 1985 to March 1987 and was chief of staff to Representative William F. Goodling (R-PA), chairman of the House Committee of Education and the Workforce. He began his professional career as assistant press secretary for the Michigan House Republican caucus, which included Michigan governor John Engler.