Until recent months, Major League Baseball has generally eschewed mixing politics with baseball. However, now the league is working with players on how to make “social justice” issues a part of the league’s restart.
The league set a meeting for Sunday to discuss incorporating Black Lives Matter symbolism or displays during games or events, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Baseball has steered mostly clear of politics over the years and was prominent as the only major U.S. sports league that did not join Colin Kaepernick’s anti-American protests during the national anthem starting in 2016.
In the wake of the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, MLB released a statement insisting that “our game has zero-tolerance for racism and racial injustice.” The statement continued saying, “The reality that the black community lives in fear or anxiety over racial discrimination, prejudice, or violence is unacceptable.”
“Addressing the issue requires action both within our sport and society. MLB is committed to engaging our communities to invoke change,” MLB added. “We will take the necessary time, effort, and collaboration to address symptoms of systemic racism, prejudice, and injustice, but will be equally as focused on the root of the problem.”
We want to be better, we need to be better, and this is our promise to do the work. pic.twitter.com/2cI6pCBdVb
— MLB (@MLB) June 3, 2020
Since that statement, MLB’s social media accounts became saturated with social justice postings.
However, some still complained that MLB was the last pro sport to make a statement about Floyd’s death. For instance, Steven Arocho, Major League Baseball’s Senior Director of Communications and Youth Engagement told VICE that the lagging statement did not go unnoticed.
“We wanted to develop what the next action was, so putting something out without considerable thought and being thorough, for us, fell a little short. We wanted there to be something intentional behind it,” Arocho said.
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