Major League Baseball made it’s return this week and it’s putting one of the biggest social justice movements in US history at the forefront of its condensed season. MLB players will be putting the Black Lives Matter movement at center stage as they play for crowdless arenas in the coming weeks.
Due to Covid-19 concerns, MLB has spent the past few months trying to plan the most effective way to continue with the 2020 season while keeping all employees and players safe. After weeks of deliberation the sporting league was able to finalize plans for the season that’s starting this week.
The Black Lives Matter “BLM” logo is now accompanying the MLB one on the pitcher’s mound. This Thursday fans at home watched the Washington Nationals Play the Los Angeles Dodgers with the logo freshly painted on the mound for all to see. The Tampa Bay Rays tweeted on Thursday in solidarity with the movement, specifically in relation to the murder of Breonna Taylor.
Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants kneel prior to the national anthem before their game at Dodger Stadium on July 23, 2020
“Today is Opening Day, which means it’s a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor,” the Rays tweeted.
The Boston Red Sox retweeted the message to their 2.1 million followers, prompting a massive wave of support and sharing online from fans. The Nationals, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are just a few of the teams that have pledged to wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘United For Change’ patches on their baseball uniforms, which will also feature a new MLB logo that depicts the player as black.
This will be the first time a new logo such as this will be used on the field, and players couldn’t be more thrilled. The Nationals and Yankee’s even took their uniforms one step further and just wore T-shirts that said “Black Lives Matter” on them during Thursday’s pre-game. During Thursday’s national anthem, all players and coaches kneeled while holding a long black ribbon in unity with one another. The official MLB twitter account posted the photo in solidarity with the movement, causing fans to call on all other major sports leagues to “step it up” in terms of their support for Black Lives Matter.
“Today, and every day, we come together as brothers. As equals with the same goal – to level the playing field. To change injustices. Equality is not just a word it’s our right!”
The logos and tweets of support are just small parts of a new policy from MLB. The policy calls on the MLB players, the Players Alliance, and all other staff working within the MLB to enhance initiatives to improve Black representation in baseball both on and off-the-field. The league will also be expanding charitable donations to black owned/run organizations as well as continuing to give black players more of a platform during games.
The policy also allows players to write messages on their cleats and uniforms in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement; sporting uniforms in general are very sacred and often not written on in general. While baseball is known as one of the first sports to integrate black and white players on the field, they also are aware of the vast history of racism within MLB, and are working to reckon it everyday.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.