After months of delay due to the rampant spread of the Coronavirus, last night (July 23) Opening Day for the MLB officially kicked off and much to the chagrin of Donald Trump, many players decided to take a knee and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Things started when the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals teams kneeled before the rendition of the National Anthem during their 7pm game, but the Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts decided he’d take his knee during the Star-Spangled Banner.
According to TMZ the former Boston Redsox star knows that his actions may rub some the wrong way but wants everyone to know the obvious: it has nothing to do with disrespecting the military.
“I know my dad served and I’ll never disrespect the flag,” Betts said, “but there’s also gotta be change in the world, and kneeling has nothing to do with those who served our country.”
Mookie added, “Today was just to unify both sides and just to show that we are here for change.”
Betts says he’s unsure if he’ll continue the kneeling throughout the season … he told reporters he wants to focus more on tangible action rather than demonstrations going forward.
“I think kneeling is definitely something that shows we need change,” Betts said, “but also I have to put some action into play as far as away from MLB.”
Though none of his Dodger teammates joined him in the protest, N.L. MVP Cody Bellinger did put his hand on his shoulder while Betts was kneeling on the field. A few San Francisco Giants did in fact take a knee on their side of the field for their part.
Aside from the kneeling that took place yesterday and may continue to happen throughout the season, the MLB decided to support the movement themselves by playing Black Lives Matter videos before both Opening Day games yesterday. “BLM” was even painted on the pitchers mound for the Yankees/National games to drive home the message that Black Lives Matter.
We bet if Donald Trump could he would pull funding for MLB games or even threaten to cancel the season for such racial equality actions.
It’s gonna be an interesting season. Wait till the NBA resumes…