Friday, July 24, 2020

MLB (Weakly) Acknowledges Injustice in Venezuela

Last night was opening night for Major League Baseball, a huge thing for all of us baseball fans. The issue of social justice was apparent, down to the highly visible "BLM" stenciled on the pitching mound. Before the game, the players knelt and held a long, black tapestry, the brainchild of Phillies star Andrew McCutchen. This sort of display is radical for baseball.

What I didn't know is that McCutchen meant it as a general statement about injustice, and specifically included Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
"This is a moment for us to honor each other, to honor the things that we're going through," he said. "With the social injustices we're going through in this country, with the things that exist outside our nation -- places like Venezuela, the Dominican Republic. To honor that and show that we honor each other, that we have each other's back, that we're going to fight for each other. And the way we do that is by collectively being together as one. This is a representation of that."
I can't find anything to suggest that McCutchen has talked about Venezuela before, or even what exactly he's referring to in the DR. It might be as simple as the fact that he has teammates from there. In terms of injustice, he certainly needs to add Cuba (I don't think there are any Cubans on the 40 man roster for the Phillies, which might account for the omission).

The acknowledgment, therefore, is pretty weak, to the point that hardly anyone is aware. I wish players, announcers, and writers would give it some more attention. Baseball is an international game, and players from other countries face problems that are different but sometimes no less dire.


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