After months of waiting, Major League Baseball has finally kicked off amidst the threat of the coronavirus. Right before the Los Angeles Dodgers started their season, star right fielder Mookie Betts took a knee during the national anthem to protest the systemic oppression that is happening in the United States.
It’s interesting to note that both teams also took a knee in a Black Lives Matter ceremony to symbolize unity beyond their rivalry. It’s also noteworthy that the teams were donning Black Lives Matter shirts prior to the opening of the game, while the letters BLM at the back of the mound of Dodger Stadium.
Athletes have been using their influence to voice out their concerns regarding the structures that have brought about inequality towards the country. The Black Lives Matter movement and lifestyle have been emphasized as of late due to the tragic murder of George Floyd last May. This has caused an uproar from the people to hold those enforcers accountable for the senseless bloodshed that has been happening for years.
The knee that Betts took during the national anthem before their opening game against the Giants was his way of expressing a call for equality as a community.
“It just shows unity,” Betts shared by way of the LA Times.
Violence is constantly happening and the players understand that they have a responsibility as public figures and athletes. Given their high reach, speaking up regarding these issues is pivotal in order to make a difference.
“I think everybody is on board with what’s going on in the world. We have to make some change. It starts here. We have to do our part. It’s amazing to know that everybody here is on board with something that we have to find a way to make change. This is the first step,” Betts added.
The Dodgers went on to win the game against the Giants care of an 8-1 drubbing. While the Giants drew first on the scoreboard during the third inning, the Dodgers went on to score five big runs during the seventh inning that took control of the entire game.