Mookie Betts is no stranger to MLB All-Star Games. Betts earned his sixth All-Star Game selection this season and started in center field for the NL squad. In a sea of stars and MLB media, the Dodger superstar took the field for pregame warm-ups wearing a short with a serious message.
“We Need more Black people at the Stadium” was written on Betts’ t-shirt.
“Yeah. It’s what I signed up for. It is what it is. I gotta embrace these types of things. It’s something I’ve been working on doing. I used to kind of shy away from it. I think now, it is my responsibility. Someone has to do it and I’ll take on that ownership.”
Mookie explained that SportsNetLA’s Kirsten Watson showed him the shirt online and he felt compelled to not only purchase one, but wear it to Dodger Stadium for the high profile event.
MLB has enacted programs to try to increase the amount of African Americans playing baseball across the country at various levels.
According to The LA Times’ Jorge Castillo, 7.2% of players on MLB Opening Day rosters were African American this season. In 2021, that percentage was 7.6%.
The shirt alone wasn’t all that Betts did on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. He grabbed the mic to lead the All-Stars in wishing Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie Robinson, a happy 100th birthday.
Betts is much, much more than just one of the best baseball players on the planet.
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