Quick Bit: The Dodgers outfielder has a history of activism in different forms.
Mookie Betts will be starting in his sixth career All-Star Game, and this year it will be in front of the home crowd at Dodger Stadium. The outfielder, however, is coming with a message for his own fans and baseball fans, at large.
“We need more Black people at the stadium.”
Betts wore a t-shirt that sported that slogan instead of his jersey during warm-ups, and photographer Steve Saldivar snapped a picture of the shirt.
Black representation in MLB has only decreased over the years, with Newsweek reporting in May hit a three-decade low at 7.2 percent in 2022.
Betts’ manager, Dave Roberts, also liked Betts’ message.
Betts has always been outspoken, both about social issues and as a philanthropist. The thing is, a lot of what he does flies under the radar. After Game 2 of the 2018 World Series, for example, Betts served food to the homeless in the community. He helped in Nashville during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he sports a generally kind demeanor with fans and other players alike.
Betts also showed support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 by kneeling, alone, during the National Anthem. Though he was the only Dodger to do so, he wasn’t the only player on the field. 10 Giants, including Gabe Kapler, also kneeled.
The Dodgers outfielder also heeds the words and hopes to carry the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in the big leagues.
Betts has developed a strong brotherhood with the Dodgers because of his strong convictions. One of the strongest examples came in 2020, when the Dodgers and Giants didn’t play a game on Aug. 26 in solidarity of Black Lives Matter.
“As a white player on this team, how can we show support?” Clayton Kershaw asked at the time, per ESPN. “What is something tangible that we can do to help our Black brothers on this team? Once Mookie said that he wasn’t gonna play, that really started our conversation as a team as what we can do to support that. We felt the best thing to do was support that in not playing with him.”
Betts clearly has strong convictions about this, and he’s making his opinions known at the Midsummer Classic. The question, of course, is whether MLB will listen.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More