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Dodgers and Giants Kneel in a Pregame Ceremony: Betts, Roberts Discuss



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.

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.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Brook
    Your headline “Dodgers and Giants kneel” should have said Dodger and Giants kneel. Also I saw only about 1/3 of the Giant players kneeling. Not sure were you got the “only one Giant player Chose not to kneel”. Granted The ceremony most Giant players knelt but certainly not all but one. The ceremony of the national anthem is tribute to our great nation and should be respected. That being said in this great nation everyone has the right to sit, kneel, during it but I choose to take a stand and stand for those who died to make this country great.Lastly I also will still support Mookie Betts so far even after he now got his big money but always stood before.

    • Hi Walter, there was a ceremony which everyone knelt for, aside from the one Giants player, and then there was the National Anthem, which only a few knelt for. Just to clarify the article.

  2. It was great to see the Dodgers win. 11 straight Opening Day wins. #LetsGoDodgers
    I’m a Navy veteran. I served my nation for 20 years including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. Kneeling? I don’t see it as a form of disrespect. It is a form of expression and speech which are the rights we defend. Kneeling isn’t disrespect, it is wanting your country to live up to its own values. We’ve talked the talk for a very long time. Now it is time to walk the walk. #BLM.

    • Thank you for your service and I’m glad someone like you said this here. These so called patriots don’t seem to understand our American rights, only the ones they agree with.

  3. Great to see the Dodgers win! 11 straight Opening Day wins! #LetsGoDodgers
    I am a Navy veteran. I served my country for 20 years including deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. Kneeling is a form of expression and speech which are rights expressed in the Constitution which all of us in the services swore to uphold. Kneeling isn’t disrespect. It is wanting your country to live up to its own values. We’ve talked the talk for a very long time but now we have to walk the walk. #BLM

  4. Ignorant scumbags supporting a terrorist organization, BLM. While disrespecting the flag that covered the coffins of the thousands of those brave souls who defended this great country. Reap what you sow morons.

    • Something tells me you bluffers will be back just like those football fans. But if you are serious than good riddance we don’t want your type here especially as Dodgers fans. I’m shocked at how many of you closeted racist are in our fan base I guess the orange clown has empowered all of you to show yourselves

    • Casey, you’re fond of calling people “ignorant” and “morons.” Three questions What is your education level? What degrees do you hold? Which courses in Black Studies did you take?

      • Anyone who believes the truth is taught in Black Studies is ignorant. By the way, I have a doctorate degree. A doctorate degree may give someone a tremendous amount of knowledge but it imparts zero wisdom.

  5. I was so happy yesterday when I found out that Betts had signed a long term contract. It didn’t take long for that feeling to fade. Kneeling when the national anthem is played is synonymous with spitting on the flag as far as I am concerned. This is the greatest country in the world and that freedom was won by the men and women carrying that banner.

    Black lives matter…as do white lives and brown and red ones. If he wants to do something constructive, let him help the youngsters in the inner cities to get a good education. Please don’t dishonor Old Glory.

    • What a cornball you are and in a fairy tale bubble at that. They do help people in inner cities they have for decades but it’s not enough there needs to be real change in this country and it doesn’t happen unless you demand it learn some American history, this country was founded on that and like it or not it’s very American to demand the change you deserve in the way that this group is doing it. You are the one who’s unamerican if you disagree with that. Your mindset belongs in Cuba

    • After receiving that big $ contract, Mookie could have thought what a great
      living he’s making in this great country. Kneeling was not a good response. A price must be paid so may I suggest
      moving him down in the order and hitting in the nine hole for a game
      Or two. Good Luck, MB and GO Blue! ??

    • Disrespecting the national anthem does not promote unity. It promotes division. Rioting does not promote peace. It promotes violence. These things used to be common sense.

  6. Great to see the Dodgers win! 11 straight Opening Day wins! #LetsGoDodgers
    I am a Navy veteran. I served 20 years including deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. I don’t have a problem with kneeling because it is protected in the First Amendment as both an expression and as speech which is what we are defending when we serve. Kneeling? That isn’t disrespect. That is wanting your country to live up to its own values. We talked the talk for too long. Now we must walk the walk. #BLM!

  7. Sad day for baseball, even a sadder day for Dodgers fans. Supporting a racist organization that promotes hatred and violence in our country…

  8. The bigots are back in the comments. Please clean this up like you did last time, thank you and let’s make this country equal for all

    • YOU fail to understand the love for ALL in this country. That’s what this flag is supposed to represent but systematically it still does not. If you don’t want the people to demand and get the change they deserve than perhaps Cuba would be a place you’d be happier in. You boomers have lost your way some where along the line. You were the original generation to fight for inequality and injustice and now you’ve become what you once despised, oh well, you’ll be gone soon and there’s 3 other generations that followed who will finish the job

      • Your last sentence summed up who you are. Everyone agrees all lives matter. BLM doesn’t agree with that. They are a Marxist group. They don’t hide it. They shouldn’t be tolerated. We need more people to stand up to them. Shame on anyone who submits to their ideology.

        • That’s not true in the slightest RC, nowhere do they admit to such things maybe you should research and think for yourself instead of relying on bogus news

  9. I am an avid supporter of both the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black Lives Matter organization. In respect to the latter, I visit their website often because it is a great educational resource. White Supremacy sympathists like to say the website supports Marxist and racist ideals, but there is zero evidence of that. Stop spreading lies to support a racist agenda. There is nothing wrong with trying to remove systemic racism from our nation’s policies. I don’t understand why anyone would be against that. Equality for others doesn’t mean less for you. In fact, it will mean more for all of us. So stop living in fear. White privilege real, just like male privilege and straight privilege is real. As a straight white male, I have been privy to built-in advantages due to my skin color, gender, and sexual preference. While I am not wealthy by any means, my pursuit of happiness has not been denied due to these things. Why would I not want all Americans to enjoy the same privileges I have had? Why would anyone not want that? What are you people so afraid of?

  10. Yesterday was a sad day for Dodger fans. Kneeling for the National Anthem is bottom line disrespect for our country. And disrespectful of the brave men and women who died to allow us to attend a baseball game. Protest is part of our country and is our freedom. Disrespect for our flag is not.
    I have been a die-hard Dodger all my life, but I will sadly give up any support of the Dodgers if this disrespect continues at tonight’s game.
    Please don’t let that happen.

  11. Sad to see what the love of money will make MLB teams and players and etc. say and do wow what happened to our integrity and our respect for all people of color? Are we trusting in man or God?

  12. Tell me what the BLM position is. Is it helping all Blacks or is it out to destroy America. I read today that if anyone says All Lives Matter then they will come after you. Their leaders are self professed Marxists! Do you want your freedoms or be under a dictatorship? BLM is destructive, burns and loots, including black businesses.

  13. BLM’s founders openly admit to being Marxists. BLM is friendly with Venezuelan Maduro, whose Socialist policies have brought economic collapse and untold misery to millions of Venezuelans. BLM states that it wants to abolish: the nuclear family; police and prisons; and capitalism etc. You hear that baseball players. Eliminating capitalism for communism means no more millions for you. BLM is training militias based on the militant Black Panther movement of the 1960’s. All of this information is easily accessed. Last year I watched over 90% of games the Dodgers played. This year I have cancelled my MLB TV package and will not be watching any games. I will not support a league that is in bed with Marxists.

    • People confuse the slogan and sentiment to the organization. Everyone agrees injustice is bad for any victim. The organization BLM is a Marxist, violent, radical group. They shouldn’t be a legit, mainstream group. A little research would wake everyone up to that fact.

  14. If Mookie wants to make a protest do it at another venue not at the singing of the the national anthem that’s not the place for it. I will support you if you do your protest in another venue! GO BLUE

  15. Go Dodgers! Is it that hard to understand why it is important to say Black Lives Matter? The lighter your skin the less likely you are to die on any given day. This should not be the case in our Country! Do all lives matter? Yes, of course they do, but that goes without saying! It is only now that a fraction of black deaths are being reported on the news. I find it brings a tear to my eye when a young player uses his 1st amendment right on the field. This is a time honored tradition. I’m proud to be an American and proud to be a Dodger fan! #BLM

  16. Nice job Moderators, once again silencing the truth by erasing it because it doesn’t favor your agenda. You guys are Marxist communist Control freaks..You have a habit of silencing the 1st Amendment , Stalin and Hitler would be sooo proud of you…Unbelievable………Carry on your Fascism…………..Nice work……….

      • The writers post a story with extreme political ties. Then pick and choose what responses they will ” Allow” silencing the Truth. What you said blue was true, same as I. I suppose the 1st Amendment is only important when their Agenda is satisfied.

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