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Civil Unrest/Civil Rights Issues and MLB in 2020
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 6/3/20 9:09 am    Post subject: Civil Unrest/Civil Rights Issues and MLB in 2020 Reply with quote

The last few days have been so distressing, and their impact has been felt all around the sports world--and the team that introduced Jackie Robinson to the world is no different. The on-death murder of a black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis is indication of how much work we still have to do in terms of race relations and the criminal justice system in this nation.

I am encouraged by some signs I'm seeing of progress, but I'm reminded that if this were any other year, it would be happening right within baseball season. i'm also encouraged that despite looting taking place in several cities around the country, the majority of protests have been peaceful as citizens from coast to coast have stood together for change.

Reactions around MLB were emotional.

The Twins issued this statement about the tragic death of George Floyd in their city.

The Dodgers have spoken out, too.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 6/3/20 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is heartbreaking but if something good comes out of it, that will be better than not learning any lesson. Sad

TG2 is asked about what needs to be done in this article along with other local athletes of color - linked here from the UT
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 6/4/20 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More players are speaking out, including the outspoken Andrew McCutchen of the Phillies. So much thoughtful discussion; we all need to listen.

Meanwhile, some enlightening and touching commentary from Doc. Sad

From the L.A. Times:

"Dave Roberts Says Country’s Leaders Need to Start Listening"


By JORGE CASTILLO, STAFF WRITER
JUNE 2, 2020 4:09 PM

Dave Roberts has thought about his late father in recent days as protests sparked around the United States following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Waymon Roberts, the oldest of eight children, grew up with a single mother in Houston in the 1950s and '60s. He was the only black student in his high school, enlisted in the military at 18 and proudly served in the Marine Corps for 30 years. As a black male, he faced injustices because of the color of his skin. He learned to pick his fights, when to confront racial prejudice and when to hold back. The struggle was constant.

“These are the same fights people are fighting to this day,” Dave Roberts said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Roberts, the first black manager in Dodgers history, is angry, frustrated and sad to know that little has changed over the decades.

“It’s disappointing to see my generation and the generation prior failing the younger generation,” Roberts said. “And that’s what’s really sad. You always hope for progress, but that just, unfortunately, isn’t the case.

“For me, the leaders of our country, unfortunately, aren’t good listeners and that’s how you impose change. People of color want to be heard. And when you have leaders that are put in positions to make change and don’t want to have those uncomfortable conversations, then change isn’t going to happen. There’s a difference between being educated and being ignorant. You have to understand that these situations happen every single day to people of color.”

Roberts starred at UCLA and enjoyed a 10-year major league career before becoming the manager of Jackie Robinson’s franchise in 2016. He was the only black manager in baseball in 2019 and is one of two after the Houston Astros hired Dusty Baker in January.

He said his father, who died in March 2017 at age 68, instilled in him and his sister to be proud of who they are — the children of an African-American man and Japanese woman — and where they come from.

He said he has passed those conversations down to his two children. The recent events have spurred questions from them to him and his wife, Tricia. Roberts said he wants them to understand the causes for the injustices still plaguing black people in this country — causes rooted in its history and still prevalent today. He hopes their generation will do better than his.

“I hope and pray they’re happening in every household,” Roberts said of those cultural conversations. “But we’re in a position of authority because of our age — I’m talking about my generation and beyond. And to tell the younger generation, ‘This is how you do it and this is what needs to be done’ — how can we sit back and say this is what needs to be done when you look at the result of what we’re basically responsible for?

“So many times I hear people say, ‘I just want to get back to normalcy and get back to normal.’ Normal is not even close to good enough. And we all need to be better and demand better from ourselves as a country and as individuals.”
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 6/5/20 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Linda. Apparently I had missed hearing but there was actually some controversy a few days ago when Twins right fielder Max Kepler wore a blue mask with the words "blue lives matter" on it. For some that would not be a big deal but at this time when people are trying to focus on black lives lost at the hands of blue it probably was not entirely appropriate for him to do that. Remember he is from Germany so did not know the entire back story. I believe he is a good guy who understands once it was explained to him. Article linked here
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 6/9/20 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taylor Trammell talked to the UT about fighting racial injustice - linked here
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Fri 6/12/20 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting these updates. If anything good comes out of this it will be that we have seen so many standing in unity with people of color. Many major league players have signed on to the Players Coalition letter to Congress requesting an end to qualified immunity. Players from other sports signed too. Here is the link.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 6/15/20 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Team. One Dream. Be the Change.--is a new ad produced by black players and former players of Major League Baseball. Very emotional for me to watch and I assume for many others, too.

Crying or Very sad

I see Jackie smiling down. Smile
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 6/16/20 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like seeing the players organize for a cause other than their player rights and money. This really touched me, too.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Wed 6/17/20 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to let them know, I am cheering for them for more than baseball reasons. They're all on the same team with this.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Thu 6/18/20 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really loved Clayton's statement on the issue of race. Here's the link from dodgers.com.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 6/19/20 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, CK.

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson recently discussed racism in baseball with MLB.com.

Current MLB players addressed such issues, as well.

And, Major League Baseball is celebrating Juneteenth.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 6/19/20 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Padres are partnering with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce to support their black business relief grant fund and a Juneteenth donation - article linked here
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 6/19/20 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice gesture by the Padres.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Sat 6/20/20 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a good sign, what I see a lot of teams doing, pro actively addressing the issues. The Dodgers put out a video to "heed Jackie's call", here's the link to see it. The Dodgers also closed team offices and gave all employees off as an official holiday.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 6/22/20 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been thinking a lot about this lately for a few reasons, first because of Juneteenth being on the 19th of the month, and 19 of course is the number Mr. Padre wore. Second is that June 16 was the 6th anniversary of his death.
Sad Our two biggest superstars who came up through the Padres organization were both African American, Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn. I have read about a lot of athletes saying they wished white sports fans would embrace the black community like they do black athletes. That has really made me think about how different it must be with some people because I was raised to always support equality and inclusion whether athletes or just ordinary human beings. I would get upset because sometimes I would hear a comment from someone about how they liked Mr. Padre so much not just because he was a great player but also because he did not "act black." Saying that sort of thing is so rooted in racism. I hope some of these folks will wake up and listen for a change to the voices of people who need to be heard and actually process it too. Maybe these folks will learnt their own words and actions could make a difference and they could open their hearts and minds.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Wed 7/1/20 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree! Also, some former major league players are speaking up about removing Kennesaw Mountain Landis' name from the MVP Award.
Here's the link.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Sun 7/5/20 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not know all that about Landis, but once I read up on this I got a better picture. In fact many baseball fans do not even know his name is on the award.

To me it is good to see players stepping up to talk more about issues of color in the game because it can only let more people in on understanding how they feel. The latest are Josh Bell (Pirates) and Jason Heyward (Cubs) - article from mlb.com linked here and here
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 7/7/20 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Cathy. I think it's good to hear from more of them sharing their own feelings and experiences.

From the L.A. Times:

"Dodgers’ Mookie Betts Finds Voice on Racial Equality, Says ‘Our Fight is Not Over’ "

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts looks on during spring training Feb. 19, 2020, in Phoenix.

By JACK HARRIS, STAFF WRITER
JULY 6, 2020 8:02 PM

Mookie Betts tried to keep his mind off baseball during the three-month lockdown. With the season on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said it was the only way to remain sane.

But the Dodgers outfielder couldn’t help but notice the nationwide response to George Floyd’s death — and the somewhat lackluster response from within his own sport.

“I think baseball did not do a good job with that,” Betts, arguably baseball’s most prominent African American player, said during a video conference Monday with reporters. “But voices were heard. That’s the main thing.”

While Major League Baseball and some of its teams received criticism for a seemingly slow and subdued response to the Floyd protests, many players were outspoken.

Betts, the 2018 American League MVP and a four-time All-Star acquired by the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox in February, was one of them. In the last six weeks, the 27-year-old promoted racial equality on his Instagram account several times and participated in a video along with many of baseball’s other African American stars.

He is also a member of the Players Alliance, a group of more than 70 current and former Black professional baseball players that promotes increased opportunities for the Black community in the sport and in society.

“Over the last few days I have sat in disbelief yet again, how a black man can be killed because of the color of his skin,” Betts wrote in an Instagram post May 31. “As I continue to process the recent events, I am reminded that our fight is not over. We must not get comfortable when the protesting is over, but remain dedicated to our mission; EQUALITY FOR ALL!”

Though the MLB-wide reaction might have underwhelmed Betts and others, issued-based conversations about injustice and equality have occurred in a sport with a reputation of avoiding such topics in the past. The Dodgers, for example, held a video conference amid Black Lives Matter protests that Dave Roberts, one of MLB’s two current African American managers, described as “crucial” and “important conversations.”

“Guys asked questions, guys gave thoughts and opinions,” Roberts said Monday. “It was very well-received.”

Roberts was neutral on baseball’s handling of the recent societal reckoning.

“Everyone is entitled to feel the way they feel and how it was handled,” Roberts said. “I think for me, it’s something that, I don’t want us to lose the traction of momentum, the conversations that we’ve had over the last month. I think that’s something any person of color would agree with me on. It just can’t be a footnote.”

Betts, meanwhile, put responsibility on himself to help grow the game in the Black community.

“Obviously MLB can help, but I think it’s on us, the Black players, to bring it to the Black communities and make baseball cool,” he said. “I think that’s where the disconnect is. Us as Black people don’t think it’s that much fun. So we have to find a way to make it fun for the Black community and get more guys here.”

The topic of race has long been a sensitive one in baseball. Former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia — who said during a recent appearance on the Bill Simmons Podcast that he has talked at length with Betts specifically of late — felt it during his 19-year career.

“With so few Black baseball players, it’s hard to even have a conversation about it,” Sabathia, 39, said on the podcast. “A lot of times, you won’t have the support that you think you will stepping up and speaking on these social issues. I think that’s where a lot of the quietness comes from from a lot of the younger baseball players, until you get to a point where you’re like me and you’ve got kids and you’re a lot older and you say whatever you want.”

Betts hopes players such as himself can alter some of the problematic patterns that have developed in the sport and beyond.

“I know it’s not all going to be at one time,” Betts said. “But a little change here, a little change there and eventually we’ll get to where we need to be.”

*************************************************************

I like Mookie's attitude. And I agree it's going to be up to the Black community of baseball players to promote baseball themselves as a viable sport, while more difficult to excel in than most other sports. We've already had plenty of discussions about that in other threads, but in this, the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, what better time to do it?

Well, scratch that last thought--maybe a better time is when youth and high school baseball are actually being played with no threat of COVID.

But whenever that time comes, I'm hoping they promote it.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 7/13/20 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the L.A. Times:

"Angels Aren’t Shying Away From ‘Difficult Conversations’ About Social Injustice"


By MIKE DIGIOVANNA, STAFF WRITER
JULY 12, 2020, 5:55 PM

The team-wide video conference calls that the Angels held during baseball’s three-month shutdown were not limited to training regimens, practice schedules and tips for avoiding the coronavirus.

While negotiations between players and owners dragged on, the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis sparked weeks of protests and unrest throughout the world over racial injustice and police brutality.

Baseball might feel insular at times, but the subjects dominating the news — the Black Lives Matter movement, systemic racism, police misconduct — forced their way into the consciousness of players.

“These are difficult conversations, and a lot of people don’t feel comfortable or really confident in their own ability to find the right words, so that can be intimidating,” Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella said on a video conference call Sunday. “But as long as we continue to engage and share ideas and learn from each other, it can only benefit us.

“This has kind of started that. This is not a new thing. A lot of people feel this should have been handled in the 1960s and early 1970s. Certainly, the momentum was set in place, and a lot of people are really hoping we can finish this out in a way that’s satisfying and right for everybody.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon is 66, old enough to remember the civil rights movement of half a century ago and experienced enough to offer some perspective for his players.

“We are going through a very significant time in history, something we went through back in the 1960s and ‘70s, and I was kind of ashamed of myself that I didn’t participate enough,” Maddon said. “I didn’t think it through deeply enough.

"I told these guys not to miss it, to really stay in tune, to understand what is going on and be part of the solution.

“I think that’s what the young people of our country need to do — stay active, stay involved and understand exactly what’s going on so this never reoccurs.”
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 7/19/20 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dodgers have a new campaign, "In This Together."
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 7/21/20 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you hear? The Battery Chuckers played in Oakland and new manager Gabe Kapler knelt during the anthem, and so did other coaches - Antoan Richardson, Justin Viele, and outfielders Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater. Article from mlb.com
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 7/21/20 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw that. Also to add to the list Angels reliever Keenan Middleton knelt before your Padres played them last night here in S.D. Today, at Great American Ballpark, 4 Reds players knelt before their game against the Tigers. Those players were Joey Votto, Amir Garrett, Phillip Ervin and Alex Blandino.
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PostPosted: Wed 7/22/20 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Middleton spoke to the L.A. Times about it:

"Angels’ Keynan Middleton Kneels During National Anthem, Wants to be a ‘Voice for Unity’

By MARIA TORRES, STAFF WRITER
JULY 20, 2020 10:46 PM

Fox Sports West didn’t air footage of Angels reliever Keynan Middleton kneeling with his fist in the air during the national anthem at Petco Park on Monday until the 10th inning when Middleton entered the game to pitch.

The delay was intentional on the part of the production crew. A person familiar with the operation who was unable to comment publicly said Tuesday the network wanted to give broadcasters Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza an opportunity to frame it within the narrative of the game.

Fox Sports West intends to continue airing national anthem demonstrations that occur during the season because it is the network’s “obligation” to viewers, the person said.

Middleton, whose demonstration preceded an exhibition game against the San Diego Padres, joined several other players and coaches around the league in protest of racial injustice and police brutality.

Middleton was unavailable to comment but addressed his decision to kneel during the anthem in a social media post. He wrote that everyone “should take this fight against racial injustice seriously” and he wanted to use his platform as a major league player to effect change.

“Racism is something I’ve dealt with my whole life,” he said in part of the statement. “As a Black man in this country, it is my obligation to want to better the future for generations to come. Over the past few months, I’ve been out in the community taking part in peaceful protests and having the difficult conversations that are needed for change.

“Before, pioneers like Jackie Robinson, a Black man, didn’t have a voice in the game of baseball. The foundation laid down and sacrifices made by Jackie and others is the reason why I have the platform I do. I will not allow that to go to waste.”

He concluded the post with the words, “Through this, I strive to be a voice for unity.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon said Middleton brought up taking a knee during the anthem in a videoconference in June, when the team and other Angels employees met to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement among other racial and social justice topics after the death of George Floyd.

Middleton, who is 26 and the father of two daughters, stood out during the meeting. Maddon said Middleton was upset that he hadn’t made his views known sooner and described Middleton as “passionate” about his beliefs.

“That’s what he showed you tonight,” Maddon said. “He’s a wonderful young man and he’s among a lot of wonderful young people in our country that are gonna demonstrate in that way.”

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler joined players and coaches in taking a knee during the anthem around the same time as Middleton. Major League Baseball’s Twitter account blasted the message to its 8.5 million followers and defended the actions of the Giants when fans pushed back.

“Supporting human rights is not political,” the account wrote in response to a tweet that asked MLB to keep politics out of baseball.

President Trump, a longtime critic of such protests, seemed to react to the demonstrations Tuesday, tweeting: “Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!”

No Angels joined Middleton, but Maddon said the team was supportive of his action.

Angels General Manager Billy Eppler also backed Middleton, saying, “I support Keynan in his pursuit of equality and I also support peaceful efforts to make the world a more just place.”

Maddon doesn’t know if Middleton, who was vocal about condemning systemic racism before Monday’s actions, will continue to kneel during the anthem when the regular season begins Friday.

“It is his choice,” Maddon said. “And I promise you it will be well thought out.”
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Thu 7/23/20 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MLB will be using a stencil of Black Lives Matter on pitchers' mounds during opening week of this season.
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PostPosted: Thu 7/23/20 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting about that!

I've been reading a lot about other teams and what they are doing, as well.
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PostPosted: Fri 7/24/20 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mookie knelt before the opener last night.
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PostPosted: Fri 7/24/20 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I noticed Bison knelt as well. I think it's a matter of personal choice and nobody should be forced to do one or another. I like that they are expressing solidarity as teammates no matter whether they choose to stand or not. There is more than 1 way of looking at these issues and this is "peaceful protest" some think is a responsibility - like Jackie Robinson who saw baseball as a platform to work for equal treatment for black Americans. He didn't just do it by breaking the color barrier.
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PostPosted: Sat 7/25/20 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many Diamondbacks players and 1 Padre knelt at Petco Park last night - article from Union Tribune
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PostPosted: Tue 7/28/20 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updates coming.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Sat 8/1/20 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the L.A. Times:

"Angels’ Brian Goodwin Eager to Use his Platform to Fight Racial Inequality"

By MIKE DIGIOVANNA, STAFF WRITER
JULY 30, 2020 7:48 PM

Marching in protests against racial injustice and police brutality and taking a knee for the national anthem “is kind of new territory, honestly, for me,” Angels right fielder Brian Goodwin said on a videoconference call Thursday before a game against the Seattle Mariners in Angel Stadium.

It’s a space Goodwin, one of two Black players who are regulars in the Angels lineup, (Justin Upton is the other) has grown comfortable with relatively quickly.

Goodwin, 29, took part in several protests in Washington, during baseball’s 3 ½-month pandemic-induced shutdown, including one near the White House the day before National Guard troops used tear gas to clear out the area, after which President Trump was photographed with a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.

While several players, including Angels teammates Upton, Keynan Middleton, Andrelton Simmons and Noe Ramirez, kneeled during the national anthem on Opening Day last week, Goodwin took a knee for the anthem before each of the four season-opening games at Oakland.

“It’s an important issue, it’s something that needs to be addressed, and when you have the stage to address it, I feel like you need to use it,” Goodwin said. “And right now, I’m in position to have the stage and I have the support from the Angels, so it would be a detriment … to not take advantage of it.”

Goodwin had a breakout season for the Angels in 2019 after being claimed off waivers from Kansas City on March 27, batting .262 with 17 homers and 47 RBIs in 136 games. He is off to a good start in 2020, batting .385 (five for 13) with a homer and four RBIs in his first four games.

Though he is not considered a star athlete on par with LeBron James, Patrick Mahomes or Mookie Betts, Goodwin plans to use the platform he has to fight systemic racism.

“This isn’t something that has just come about — it’s something we’ve been fighting for a long time,” Goodwin said. “The more attention we can bring to the issue, the more traction we can get, the more voices we can have heard … you know, there’s strength in numbers.

“I had an opportunity to go out and walk with people and protest peacefully and keep my foot on the gas as far as getting to a solution, and getting to somewhere where we can have those conversations and start changing stuff for the better. We have to continue to use our voices and doing so collectively with everyone in sync and on the same page.”

Goodwin made a bit of a statement with his fashion choices Wednesday night, wearing one purple-and-gold cleat in honor of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash, and one blue-and-white cleat with the inscription “Crenshaw” in honor of Nipsey Hussle, the Los Angeles-born rapper, activist and entrepreneur who was shot and killed outside his clothing store in 2019.

“They’re two of the most well-respected people in their realms, and around the world,” Goodwin said. “I felt it was just right for me to do something in my own personal way, to put my spin on it, to honor them and what they meant to me personally.

“Kobe with his Mamba mentality, his mentorship and his voice. Nipsey was a role model, connecting with his people, giving back to his community with his time. There’s a lot to be said for that. People who get that big, to be able to take time out of your busy schedule and give back is a respectful thing in itself.”
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