Cubs Reliever Luke Little Responds to American Flag, Glove Debacle: ‘Proud to be an American’

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
April 25, 2024Sports News
Cubs Reliever Luke Little Responds to American Flag, Glove Debacle: ‘Proud to be an American’
Luke Little, #43 of the Chicago Cubs, delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning in his MLB debut at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 06, 2023. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

A debacle over an American flag caused a delay in the game between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

Chicago Cubs reliever Luke Little was told to change his glove mid-game due to the “distraction” from the American flag patch. The white on the patch violated league rules regarding gloves, specifically a safety regulation, according to Major League Baseball (MLB) officials.

“The issue was the American flag was on his glove. Pitchers’ gloves, they’re pretty strict about not having white on the pitchers’ gloves. Apparently the flag had what could be a distraction to the hitter,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell told the media.

The umpires noticed the patch after the 23-year-old leftie was brought into the game with one out in the seventh inning.

A clubhouse attendant brought the 6-foot-8 reliever another glove, but it also had an American flag patch, so he returned to the locker room to get another one that still had to be broken in.

“Of all the things to do is breaking in a glove during a game.I had to beat it a little bit, try and get it flexed out,” Mr. Little said in a post-game interview.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native said he had been using the original glove since he played in Class A ball at the start of his MLB career.

“The clubbies told me that they had got an email from MLB that I’m not allowed to wear it. But I just didn’t assume that they were just going to just cut me. It’s not like it has an advantage in the game. It’s not like it blinds the hitters. Just representing my country,” he said.

He later posted to social media in response to the situation.

“Proud to be an American. Go Cubs Go,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, and included an emoji of the American flag. He attached a GIF image of wrestler Hulk Hogan in front of a giant American flag, playing a guitar that was designed in stars and stripes.

The post prompted heated debate online.

“Sounds like the MLB has a rule that needs to be modified. You’ve got a new fan, sir!” a user commented.

“The thing that nobody wants to point out is that the MLB USES THE FLAG IN their patch So How is it DIFFERENT AND Isn’t baseball America’s FAVORITE TIME? I am TOTAL BEHIND YOU AND THE CUBS AFTER Last night,” a fan wrote.

Others on social media agreed that the color on the patch is a legitimate distraction.

“It’s because the white on the flag could be a distraction to the batter. They’re standing in front of a ball that travels up to 105 mph and can kill them,” one person said.

“It’s for the same reason they can’t wear white gloves, white sleeves or bandages,” the user added.

But others also accused the Cubs reliever of taking a long-existing rule and turning it into a political stance.

“You just couldn’t resist politicizing this,” one user commented.

“Maybe know the rules of the game b4 you play in the big league,” another person said.

After he received his replacement glove, the Cubs reliever ended up retiring both batters he faced. The Cubs went on to defeat the Astros 4-3.

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