After the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants took a stand against systemic racism and social injustices by boycotting their game Wednesday night, manager Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen stood together to explain the team’s line of thinking.
Betts had already decided he would not play, but planned to support the Dodgers if they elected to still take the field. For Kershaw and others in the clubhouse, that was non-negotiable. He has been an advocate for the Black community and taken on the responsibility to use his platform.
Supporting calls for equality has become a divisive — and oftentimes a political — matter. Soon after standing alongside Roberts, Betts and Jansen, Kershaw posted to his Instagram account, which garnered both praise and criticism.
“I’m not one to look at the comments a whole lot, for obvious reasons. It doesn’t always go well for me out there. (But) I have seen some of the things being said,” he acknowledged.
“What I would say first and foremost is we’re just doing the right thing. We’re supporting Black players, supporting the Black community, and what they’re going through. If the roles were reversed and there was something that was really difficult for me or one of my other teammates, I would hope that we would have the support of our full team. It’s as simple as that.
“We’re supposed to love God and love others. That comes with the territory of supporting them. That’s part of loving them well. Yes, I have seen those comments. That’s OK, because I feel like we’re doing the right thing.”
While Betts was going to be understanding if the Dodgers moved forward in playing without him, the unity has further strengthened their bond.
“I think Mookie has handled this really well. We’re kind of following his lead as far trying to support him the best we can. It’s been a difficult time. It’s been a tough time for him personally and the Black community in general,” Kershaw said.
“Just trying to figure out different ways of what that looks like. It’s new territory for us and we’re trying to figure that out as well. The decision to play and potentially continue to use our platform to speak out on things that shouldn’t be happening, support Mookie in that and support the other Black baseball players and Black community, I think is important.”
MLB Players Alliance donating salaries
To further utilize their platforms, those in the MLB Players Alliance donated game salaries from Thursday and Friday to support efforts to “combat racial equality and aid the Black families and communities deeply affected in the wake of recent events.”
With the MLB season delayed this year, the league is recognizing Jackie Robinson Day on Friday.
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