When the National League team took the field for batting practice prior to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, seemingly all players wore their white uniform. However, Mookie Betts used the opportunity to advocate for more inclusion.
Betts paired his white uniform pants and white and gold Air Jordan shoes with a t-shirt that read, “We need more Black people at the stadium.” Betts was shown the design by Los Angeles Dodgers reporter Kirsten Watson, and was moved to order the t-shirt.
Betts has long been involved in various initiatives to give back to those in need, but now is finding more comfort in using his platform to inspire.
“It’s what I signed up for,” Betts said after hitting an RBI single in first All-Star Game hosted by the Dodgers since 1980.
“I’ve got to embrace those type of things, and I’m working on doing it. I used to kind of shy away from it, but I think now it is my responsibility. Someone has to do it, and I’ll take on that ownership.”
Betts attributed that newfound comfort to being at a different stage in his career.
“Just growth,” he said. “Evolve in life. I’m not young, I’m not 20 years old trying to make my way through. I’m almost 30 and in a different part of life.”
Although Betts has willingly stepped into using his voice to address social matters, he stopped short of expecting others to follow suit.
“It’s just what they want to do. You can’t tell people what to do. It’s their life and they want to handle things how they want to handle it,” Betts said. “Not everybody wants to do things like that, but I’ve grown and matured, and I’m in a different stage now so I can take on that responsibility.”
Mookie Betts leads Rachel Robinson tribute
Also before first pitch of the 92nd Midsummer Classic, Betts led the All-Stars in gathering around home plate to recognize and celebrate Rachel Robinson’s 100th birthday on Tuesday.
“That tribute is probably the thing I will remember the most,” he said. “It was very special for me to be able to be on the mic.”
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