The Los Angeles Dodgers released a video of 10 players who banded together in speaking out against racial inequality and promised to use their platforms by aiding organizations that seek social justice.
The video featured Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Kiké Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Gavin Lux, Joc Pederson, AJ Pollock, Ross Stripling, Justin Turner and Alex Wood.
The players will match funds raised from sales of the “In This Together” special edition t-shirts benefitting the California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Southern California: Our Kids, Our Future Fund (CFBMOC). The Dodgers wore the t-shirts during batting practice ahead of Thursday’s intrasquad game at Dodger Stadium.
“For centuries, the Black community has lived in a different America. Instead of addressing racism, inequality and injustice, many of us just look away,” Kershaw said in the video. “Silence is no longer an option. I’m fighting for my teammates, their families, and their communities.”
Turner added: “As proud Americans, how much longer can we avoid an honest look in the mirror? Equality is at-bat. Together, we must learn and grow.”
Earlier this week, Kershaw, Pederson, Stripling and Turner joined the leaders of the Brotherhood Crusade; Children’s Defense Fund of California; Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition; and the Community Coalition, which are among the 13 organizations in the CFBMOC.
The organizations shared the history of racial and social inequities in L.A. and how they respectively have been working to usher in systemic change. The players engaged in dialogue about how they want to use their platforms and resources to support and amplify what the organizations are striving to accomplish and be allies for the Black community.
Dodgers taking action
The Dodgers collectively and on an individual basis via players have been vocal in calling for an end to social injustice. The team released a statement during the days of civil unrest in Los Angeles and throughout the country, and also lit up Dodger Stadium in remembrance of George Floyd.
Kershaw has been particularly proactive, putting an onus on himself to be more supportive of the Black community. Turner and his wife Kourtney, who regularly give back to those in need, also promised to be more mindful of listening to the needs of African-Americans and other minorities.
“I’m proud of them,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of his players’ latest action. “And I’m proud to be a part of this. Clayton and some of the other guys spearheaded this. They’re very intentional. They’ve been shaken.
For them to not only talk the talk but walk the walk and lead by their actions, it’s very commendable.”
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