The Dodgers took the field for their first game of the season on Thursday, but it was the pregame ceremony that made national headlines. The team, along with the Giants, came together to make a statement of unity in support of fighting racial and social injustice around the country.
It was a very emotional moment for the Dodgers and Giants, with both teams meeting around the infield and holding up a black ribbon. There was a video played by The Players Alliance during the ceremony as well. The Alliance is a group of over 100 players in baseball calling for an end to racial injustice and in support of Black Lives Matter.
"Today, we are one." pic.twitter.com/fqH8NkJm8A
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 24, 2020
The newest Dodgers’ star Mookie Betts also took a knee during the National Anthem, joined by several players from the Giants roster and staff. No other Dodgers players knelt during the anthem, but Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy stood over Betts with their hands on his should in solidarity. Betts spoke about the moment after the game and what it meant.
Just unity. Everybody’s here. We’re all on the same team. We’re all here for change. … Even the Giants, I definitely tip my cap to them for the support. Like I said, we have a great group of guys here. We’re all supportive of each other and that definitely doesn’t surprise me that Belly and Muncy were there with me.
The field also featured a Black Lives Matter logo on the back of the pitcher’s mound in support of the movement. While everyone knelt during the ceremony, only a few chose to kneel during the National Anthem, a protest that has been displayed through sports for years. One Giants player chose not to kneel during the ceremony.
Manager Dave Roberts spoke about what the Dodgers would be doing before the game. In the past, Roberts has expressed that he does not like it when players kneel during the anthem. Roberts is the son of a former United States Marine. He reiterated that conversations and learning have changed his opinions on that as a person.
I’m always trying to evolve and learn and be educated. I’ve realized that standing at attention is not mutually exclusive to your thoughts on social justice and police brutality and things that Colin Kaepernick and Maxi (Maxwell) what he felt. As I’ve learned you’re not trying to disrespect the soldiers, men and women that serve our country and that lay their lives on the line every single day, my father included. So, yeah, I have evolved and changed.
As expected, the ceremony and the knee by Mookie Betts was met with some backlash online. But overall, Dodgers fans showed up in support online, even if they couldn’t be there in person. A powerful move from two very influential organizations. We tip our caps to you over here at Dodgers Nation.