Yankees: Aaron Judge Says it’s a ‘Responsibility’ to Address Social Injustice

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge spoke with FanSided’s Mark Carman about a variety of topics.

On Opening Night before their matchup against the Washington Nationals, the New York Yankees decided to send a message in regards to the current social climate in the United States. Before the National Anthem, the team took a knee to remind everyone that injustices continue to happen on a daily basis.

Other teams took a knee during the anthem, as we’ve seen over the last day and a half, but manager Aaron Boone said the team was unified in wanting to stand, which is why the players collectively decided to take the knee beforehand.

According to Aaron Judge, who spoke with Yanks Go Yard this week, the Yankees’ biggest message they wanted to get across was “unity.”

“We wanted to stand united with each other … we didn’t want to be divided … we wanted to have each other’s backs because we have so many different guys from so many different walks of life, different countries, different beliefs … and we wanted to show support for everybody.”

The decision to kneel before the anthem was the team’s way of saying “there’s still a lot of injustice going on in the world right now and let’s get the conversation going … we need to start making some changes,” Judge added.

Of course, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who clearly didn’t watch the pregame whatsoever, called out the Yankees for kneeling during the anthem (which they didn’t) and said the players were “hypocritical” and “disgraceful” for showing support for Black Lives Matter.

Mr. Giuliani has been so far removed from the political process that we can’t be surprised he’s this out of touch with what’s going on in baseball after the sport returned after over 260 days without a game being played. Maybe have your assistant watch the entire pregame and take notes, bud!

Judge didn’t address Giuliani, but it’s important to talk about this considering the Yankees slugger has a completely different viewpoint on what it means to be an athlete. Giuliani ties it to dollars, Judge ties it to influence.

When asked about how it felt to be “in the conversation” and “doing things” in terms of sending a message, Judge had an enlightening response.

"“It’s a responsibility more than anything with the platform I have … especially playing professional baseball and having fans in the US and around the world. When you become a professional athlete some people say ‘You’re not a role model and all this’ … well you are. You got a lot of young fans looking up to you and that’s who you’re really doing this all for. It’s younger fans, younger generations coming behind us that hope they have a better future and better life than us.”"

A measured, well-thought-out, and impactful response from the face of the Yankees franchise. As the 2020 season progresses, look for Judge to continue to find ways to make an impact and keep those uncomfortable conversations going to help push society forward.

Next. Aaron Judge Talks Beating Astros in 2020. dark