Yankees outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks took a knee during the National Anthem on Saturday night.
Two days after the entire New York Yankees team took a knee before the National Anthem to show solidarity for social injustice across the United States, star sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks took it upon themselves to go off script on Saturday night.
They took a knee during the anthem while the rest of the team stood (which was what the general consensus was for Opening Night) and took some spectators by surprise.
But how surprised can we really be? These guys opened their mouths about the current social climate in the country not too long ago, and with other players and coaches taking a knee over the past couple of days, it was only a matter of time before it happened with the Yanks. Here’s what they had to say about it:
Stanton further explained why he felt so strongly about his decision to kneel, telling the media after the game that when growing up in Los Angeles, the exit he took to get to his mother’s house was where Rodney King was beaten in 1992.
As for Hicks, he said he’ll continue to kneel and had a more blunt response as to why he decided to do so on Saturday.
These guys clearly have the support they need from the necessary figures on the team as well.
Manager Aaron Boone said he encourages his players to express themselves and teammate Gerrit Cole said on Thursday, “It’s freedom of speech. It’s the Bill of Rights. It’s what the country’s founded on, to express yourself freely. So I think it’s a wonderful thing.”
DJ LeMahieu was also in their corner. He stood alongside them when they went away from the team and into the outfield to take the knee.
With Major League Baseball starting to welcome these peaceful demonstrations and guys of Stanton and Hicks’ stature taking a stand on one of the most renowned sports organizations in the world, it could be time for fans to get used to this and save their complaints.