Yankees: Aaron Boone Strongly Denies NYY Told Aaron Judge to Avoid Racial Issues

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees meets with manager Aaron Boone (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees meets with manager Aaron Boone (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone denied that the club discouraged Aaron Judge to speak out against racism.

For those wondering, Aaron Judge and the entire New York Yankees organization are free to speak their mind on racism and social injustice.

Why is this a topic of conversation? Well, an ESPN story published by Howard Bryant accused the club of “subtly discouraging their new superstar, Aaron Judge, from being publicly vocal on racial issues, encouraging him to follow the racially disengaged, politically neutral model of Derek Jeter.”

Taking the climate of the country into consideration, those are pretty damning accusations, and manager Aaron Boone came forward to vehemently deny them.

“As far as I know, that’s absolutely false,” Boone told reporters during a conference call on Thursday. “In fact, if anything, we encourage our guys, if they want their voice to be heard on whatever the subject may be, we’re always going to encourage them to speak their mind and their heart.”

Let’s make one thing clear: just because the Yankees were one of the last professional sports franchises to release a statement following the death of George Floyd, doesn’t mean they don’t thoroughly condemn racism and police brutality. Trying to create a false narrative from that is as reckless as it is thoughtless.

Judge, while rehabbing in Tampa, also prominently took the time to take part in the Black Lives Matter video put together by Cameron Maybin and other prominent African American MLB stars, the most public example yet of speaking out.

The entirety of Major League Baseball was late to the game in addressing the unspeakable incident. If you ask us, that’s a reflection on poor leadership and ownership. Trying to pin this dark of an allegation on the Yankees — who had several players (both current and former) — issue strong statements in the immediate fallout is disconcerting.

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Boone was fully justified in swiftly denying the claims made against him and his team, but fans in the Bronx have every right to feel offended.