Well, this is it. Someone in professional sports has said the quiet part out loud. From the top-down, league leadership is out of touch with the players who want to fight for social justice and the need for a leaguewide stance against racism.
And we got a glimpse into how tone-deaf the MLB is and it came from the Mets ownership
In a “hot mic” moment in the Mets Press Room, General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen told two others that Manfred and the Jeff Wilpon wanted the Mets to pull a social justice awareness stunt during their game on Thursday night.
Following yesterday’s professional sports strikes like the one started by the Milwaukee Bucks, the Mets were considering following suit. Wilpon floated the idea to Manfred that the players symbolically leave the field at 7:10, the original start time for the game, before returning an hour later to play at 8:10. This all comes after the Mets players expressed their desire to not play this evening.
Van Wagenen stated the Mets were told to wait on their decision to not play against the Marlins because “baseball’s trying to come up with a solution to say, ‘you know what would be super powerful?- You know what would be really great?” Van Wagenen also added that it was expressed to him by Jeff Wilpon that a strike of the game would make scheduling “a nightmare,” and that there is “so much at stake.”
“And I said: “Jeff, that’s not happening. They’re not playing. But that’s Rob’s instinct… at the leadership level, he just doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t get it.”
Rob Manfred has been an anti-player Commissioner since he took over for PED Era Commissioner Bud Selig, and even as early as this year ahead of the season restart. How much longer does the MLBPA put up with Manfred’s desire to keep ownership happy by way of performative actions like the ones he suggested to the Mets?
Hopefully not very long. How can you be able to change a sport’s trajectory when your idea of supporting your players is optics-based. Get out of here, Rob. And to Jeff Wilpon, you can go too.
However, this story does have a happy ending.
At 7:10, the Mets took the field. Just as Lewis Brinson was about to step into the batter’s box, every member of the Mets and Marlins dugouts came out onto the field, took off their caps, and stood in silence.
After 42 seconds, a number that represents a lot in baseball history, the Mets were led off the field by outfielders Billy Hamilton and Dom Smith.
As the dugouts emptied and the expansiveness of an empty Citi Field seemed to grow by the second, the broadcast’s camera zoomed in on home plate where t-shirt has been placed over home plate.
Black. Lives. Matter.
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