New York Yankees stars joined their MLB brothers to share a message about Black Lives Matter.
The Yankees may have dropped the ball with their poorly-timed responses to the recent protests, but the team’s players have more than lived up to the challenge of the moment.
Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton were among the many African American MLB notables to lend their talents to a stirring video that dropped this week in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The video opens with Judge and Sabathia finishing each other’s sentence, intoning, “We’ve been told that our peaceful pleas were not made at the right time.” Following their cameos, many of the league’s recent stars of color, from Prince Fielder to Adam Jones to 2019 NYY fan favorite Cameron Maybin, continue delivering this unified statement in the wake of disastrous turmoil.
It becomes quite clear very quickly that MLB’s African American players, a number that is depressingly dwindling by the season, do not intend to “wait” any longer for genuine change to take place in this country.
In many ways, Giancarlo Stanton delivers the video’s hammer, point blank stating, “Eight minutes and 46 seconds is enough time to lift a knee,” referencing the time Derek Chauvin took to kill George Floyd in the streets of Minneapolis, igniting this latest round of intense protests, conversation, and change.
Sabathia, in particular, has visibly protested over the past few weeks, and this unified effort across generations of MLB talent is a particularly impactful way to draw further attention to this inflection point.
All Sabathia, Judge, and the rest of the video’s stars want is for their league (and brotherhood) to play a part in this next wave of generational change. Much like the NFL’s stars a few short weeks ago, they appear to have banded together independently to help change their institution.
Though Rob Manfred has a lot on his mind these days, and is in the process of curtailing any chance at a baseball season in 2020, the next job on his mantle should involve making sure these voices are instrumental in any sort of return to play plan, as well as the next several years of PR decision-making.