There is no doubt that the death of George Floyd and the manner in which he was killed has rocked the United States, if not, the world. This did not exclude the world of sports. Many Major League Baseball teams, players, and coaches had statements or stories of their own to share. Below is a compilation of those from the Minnesota Twins club.
The organization released the following statement (here via Twitter):
We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd on Monday night in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins send our deepest sympathies to the Floyd family, and join with our Twin Cities community in mourning.
We will continue working with our community partners to move forward with courage, free of hate and thoughtful in our path, to create the change we want to see in the world - one, all-inclusive Twins Territory, where everyone is protected, safe and welcome.
Outfielder Byron Buxton posted the following through his Instagram account:
It’s unbearable to even think about what’s happening in our city and throughout the country, but things have to CHANGE. African Americans have been slaughtered left and right for nothing more than the color of our skin. That is reality and it has been ignored far too long. DEMAND PROGRESS - DEMAND JUSTICE for George Floyd.
Nelson Cruz joined many in the yesterday’s blackout:
First base coach Tommy Watkins shared his thoughts on his foundation’s website, including the excerpt below:
Bottom line, what happened to George Floyd shouldn’t have happened. And this one hurts because it could have been me.
I’m not usually one to speak up. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable. But at times like this, we have to leave our comfort zones to create the meaningful, necessary change we need. I started this Foundation to make a difference, so I felt compelled to share my thoughts and what I’ve been feeling over the past week. These conversations need to happen. Changes need to be made. Big or small, we can all do something to fix the systematic racism in this country. We have to do better as individuals so together we all have a better future.
Reliever Trevor May tweeted:
I know that I will never know what it’s like to live with oppression. I cannot begin to put myself in the shoes of the people that deal with it all of their lives. But, I support the black community regardless. We need change! I’m here, walking beside you. #JusticeForGeorge
Manager Rocco Baldelli also took to Twitter for his statement:
George Floyd should be breathing right now. We have a lot of progress to make. A lot. Remember his name. Remember what happened.— Rocco Baldelli (@roccodbaldelli) May 27, 2020
The Rochester Red Wings also made a statement via Twitter:
The Rochester Red Wings stand for justice and peace, and are committed to working towards the solution to end social injustice and systematic racism.
As members of this community, it is our collective duty to ensure these words are not merely written and spoken, but are enacted upon through community engagement.
We owe it to the City of Rochester. We owe it to those who came before us. We owe it to our children. We owe it to mankind.
We owe it to George Floyd.
The last reaction that I’ll share here is one that The Athletic put together yesterday. Ken Rosenthal reached out to former major-league players that are African American and had a discussion over Zoom about the killing of George Floyd. Dan Glanville moderated the discussion with former Twins Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins along with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Dontrelle Willis. The conversation goes through reactions, stories, experiences, and change. The transcript and video are both free and open for anyone to read (click here), and I highly recommend taking the time to read it.
An experience that Hunter shared really hit me:
I went into my place, the alarm went off for a second and I cut it off. Maybe an hour later, I see cops at my door. I open my door and say, “Is everything OK?” And they said, “Freeze!” With the guns out. You know you’re coming to Torii Hunter’s house. You already know that!
The young guy had his gun down, but the older guy had his gun, and a vein popped out of his neck. I’m on one leg. He said, “Sit the f— down!” I said, “Hey man, this is my house, calm down.” And the young guy is looking at me like, “I think I know this guy.” The other guy still had the gun. And he says, “Is anybody else in the house?” I said, “No one else is in the house. This is my house.” I didn’t say nothing about baseball. And he walked me into the house with the gun in my back, to go upstairs to get my license. And when I showed him my license, the younger guy said, “I knew that was you.” And the guy said, “Who is he?” And he said, “He plays with the Angels.” Then this guy who had the gun on me says, “Oh, I’m an Angels fan. Can you leave me tickets?”
What statements and reactions have you found that resonated with you?