By: Jeremy Goldschmidt
City Councilman Justin Brannan of Bay Ridge is raising hell with major league baseball for refusing to let Mets players wear caps that remember heroes of 9/11.
In a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last week, Brannan insisted that the league permit Mets players to wear caps with NYPD, FDNY and other first-responder logos.
The Mets had said they wanted to wear the caps during a home game last Wednesday — the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“This decision was a real slap in the face to all the first responders who stepped up during the worst terrorist attack in the history of our nation, with many making the ultimate sacrifice, right here in the greatest city in the world where the Mets play,” Brannan noted in his letter. “This isn’t just about New York City, it’s about America. Baseball may be our national pastime and as American as apple pie, but this decision was anything but. Fans are angry, players are angry, and the first responders and their families feel disrespected.”
“Brannan, who regularly describes himself as a “long-suffering Mets fan,” asked why the league would allow the Houston Astros to wear Apollo 11 caps in July to commemorate the first moon landing 50 years ago, yet won’t allow the Sept. 11 tribute,” noted the New York Post. “Following the 9/11 attacks that left 2,753 dead at the World Trade Center, the Mets famously began wearing caps honoring cops, firefighters and other first responders — despite initial objections from the league — for the remainder of the 2001 season.”
Brannan is simply reflecting the sentiments of the people he represents. With local elected officials in attendance, “hundreds of residents in two Brooklyn neighborhoods miles apart held memorial events Wednesday night to mark the grim 18th anniversary of the devastating Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center,” according to a report at brooklynreporter.com. Brannan and State Sen. Andrew Gounardes “organized a touching candlelight vigil on the 69th Street Pier. The memorial also included a moment of silence in tribute to the victims.”
Indeed, Brannan typifies the borough he serves. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, the son of a record salesman and early childhood educator. After attending PS 185, McKinley JHS and Xaverian High School, he studied journalism at Fordham, before embarking on a career as a professional musician. “A longtime believer in the importance of making government work efficiently to create opportunities for working and middle class families,” his web site points out, Brannan was elected in 2017 from a crowded field of ten candidates to represent southwest Brooklyn’s 43rd Council District. “With too many people feeling that government only works for the wealthy and well-connected, Council Member Brannan has vowed to always fight for the “little guy.”