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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Speaks Up on Protests and Racism in America

The Dodgers’ manager gave his thoughts on where the country is today.



Dave Roberts is the first black manager in the history of the Dodgers franchise. As such, people often look to Doc for his wisdom and experience in the racial divide in the United States. The LA Times’ Jorge Castillo hopped on a call with Dave this week, in the wake of protests across the country. 

As expected, Roberts finds himself angry and saddened by the fact that very little has changed since his father was growing up in the 1950s. The Dodgers’ skipper sounded off on where he felt that change starts, and why it feels like we have been set back so far. 

It’s disappointing to see my generation and the generation prior failing the younger generation. And that’s what’s really sad. You always hope for progress, but that just, unfortunately, isn’t the case…For me, the leaders of our country, unfortunately, aren’t good listeners and that’s how you impose change.

As a manager of one of the most prestigious sports teams in the world, it makes sense that Roberts believes that change starts at the top. But he also hopes and believes that every household should be having cultural conversations at home, especially now.

I hope and pray they’re happening in every household. But we’re in a position of authority because of our age — I’m talking about my generation and beyond. And to tell the younger generation, ‘This is how you do it and this is what needs to be done’ — how can we sit back and say this is what needs to be done when you look at the result of what we’re basically responsible for?

Change does start at the top, but it also starts at the top of households as well. A racial divide has torn apart the United States for far too long, and the thousands of people you see in the streets of Los Angeles today should show that enough is enough. There is still a long way to go. 

So many times I hear people say, ‘I just want to get back to normalcy and get back to normal.’ Normal is not even close to good enough. And we all need to be better and demand better from ourselves as a country and as individuals.

Dave also spoke on SportsNetLA about the protests going on.

Stay safe out there Dodgers fans. Stay safe out there Angelenos. Stay safe out there everyone. 

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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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    • Good call Harry. But I’ll disagree with Dave on one important point. Change does not happen from the top. If you are at the top you got it made. Change happens from below. His wife may have something today about this.

      • I actually see lots of positive changes in our society. But a few bad incidents that get all the exposure makes us forget that. A Black President, a Black manager, I just hired a Black man to be my boss! I see more mixed face marriages an on and on. Please don’t let the actions of a few sick cops change all that!
        Not to mention my favorite ballplayer, Orel Hershiser, uh oh yeah, he’s white! He’s still my favorite!

  1. Rules of engagement need to change. All law enforcement has to change how they have to take down and un-cooperating person of interest or criminal. In the same sense, anyone asked to stop and or be questioned by law enforcement need to obey and not resist. Too many times I have seen people running away or just not stopping and things escalate from there and too many deaths and or injuries. People have to teach their children the proper way to handle these situations.

    • Rioting does not bring people together. It does not heal racial divides. It deepens them. Criminal behavior is not the answer to anything.

    • You aren’t wrong Ruben but there’s still no justification for death unless someone is pulling out a weapon or assaulting with bare hands and therefore now a deadly threat to officers and civilians.

  2. Why won’t you publish my comments? They are not racist in any way.
    I just ask if Dave supports rioting and looting?
    And does he support Antifa?
    Logical questions that we have a right to know if he is going to comment on current events.

    • Maybe trying to understand the history of “rioting” and looking into who Antifa is will help. Antifa = Anti-Fascist. Do you support Fascism? Antifa does not. To use the words of Bob Marley, “Burnin and Lootin” is the voice of the voiceless. It is the last gasp at being heard. “Can you hear me now” is the underlying message when people can no longer wait for elites to act against oppression and brutality. There is never consensus on these actions within the impacted community. I can say I have enough privilege that I have not been driven to this boiling point in my lifetime. But I do try to understand it. We should also remember that peaceful protests are the primary response always, but that doesn’t sell newspapers or generate viewership on the local news. I’m sure Dave has opinions. But I don’t blame him for taking the diplomatic route. Lot’s of players picking up the slack and taking their lumps as a result. If you want to be anti-racist Scott, step out of your comfort zone and imagine what it might be like to be a perennial suspect citizen for near 250 years. We have everything to gain by challenging our most sacred beliefs when it comes to systemic racism worldwide.

      • Antifa does mean antifascist, but they are liars because there actions are fascistic. Fascism supports forcible suppression of individuals which is exactly what antifa does.

        • Forcible suppression like the police murdering people with no weapons or who are in custody? You can put the blinders on if you want because it’s too much for you but you’ll be on the wrong side of history. This isn’t over

  3. The death of George Floyd is tragic and it’s criminal. No dispute in that regard, but the ongoing discussion that police more frequently shoot unarmed black men is not supported by FBI data.

    In 2019, law enforcement in America completed 10 million arrests. Of that number 1,004 persons were shot with 19 of them being white males and 9 black males. Of the 9 cases involving black males, 5 officers were actively being beaten and used deadly force. Of the remaining four cases two officers have been charged.

    Officer involved shootings have decreased for several consecutive years and 89 officers were shot and killed in 2019. When viewed in context with millions of citizen contacts occurring each and everyday between the police and citizens you can logically conclude the numbers don’t indicate police shootings are “out of control”, but rather they are very rare.

    A Harvard study completed a couple of years ago concluded officers are less inclined to shoot at blacks vs. white suspects.

    Should Floyd have died at the hands of a police officer?……….The answer is a definite NO and it’s tragic in every sense of the word. At the same time if you can’t label all middle eastern men as terrorists as a result of 9/11 we shouldn’t label all officers as bad actors because of a bad one in Minneapolis.

  4. Won’t publish mine either. I commented on the myth in America about the alleged police killing of unarmed black men and quoted the FBI Uniformed Crime Reports. The number were also gleaned from a Washington Post data base that keeps track of police shootings in America.

    It seems Dodger Nation doesn’t want any discussion not consistent with their views and beliefs. I’ll get my Dodger news somewhere else.

    • Please be a fan of a Central team we don’t want your ignorance in our fan base. You’ll be welcome over there

        • Tell me when George Floyd brandished a weapon on police you ignorant SOB. He was on the ground in cuffs and they still choked him to death. Tell me how that’s justifiable I’m dying to hear this. You think that’s the only example of an unjustified killing by police? Because it’s not. Gtfoh

          • Hey Harry I applaud that one old guy for plowing through all those liberals with his car. Too bad you weren’t one of them. KAG

          • Read my post again. I never said Floyd had a gun, in fact I mentioned several times the conduct of the police was criminal and wrong. My comments centered on the ongoing myth that is being perpetuated by the media and others that the police are killing unarmed blacks at an alarming rate, which is just not true.

            Your response to bluebyyou is exaclty what is wrong with people who cannot look at a problem objectively. Your response says “tel me when Floyd brandished a weapon on police you ignorant SOB. It was never alleged that Floyd brandished a weapon, but rather than have an intelligent response you resort to name calling.

            You’re a piece of work. I just ask you to be more objective in your rationale and posts and less emotional. It might do you some good.

  5. You are all playing with boiling water. You’re only going to get burned. Let the water cool down before messing with it. These conversation never end well….

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