What Yankees Judge Aaron thinks about kneeling during the anthem

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It is not yet known whether someone dressed in a New York baseball uniform will kneel during the pre-game play of the National Anthem.What is clear right now, however, is Aaron Judge’s support for anyone who wants to do this.

“It’s the beauty of America, it’s free speech,” the judge said Tuesday after the Yankees finished a practice session at Yankee Stadium. “The freedom to express yourself. We have a special platform for athletes. And be able to say what we think and speak [to] what’s going on in this world. And some people are expressing it online. Some people express it in words. Some people kneel down, do what they have to do.

“But I think whatever message we try to get out here, we want to express our unity and we’re all in the same boat. I think that’s the most important message we’re going to try to get across from here. We are all in the same boat. Try to have those uncomfortable conversations that we need. Bring up those uncomfortable talking points. But whatever happens, we are in the same boat. ”

On Monday night in Oakland, manager Gabe Kapler, coach Antoan Richardson and outfielder Jaylin Davis were among the Giants who knelt during the anthem. Kenyan Angels pitcher Middleton did the same in San Diego on Monday. On Tuesday night, several Reds players, including All-Star Joey Votto, also took a knee during the anthem.

Judge Aaron
Judge AaronAP

“We haven’t discussed this as a team yet,” said Judge. “It’s a bit difficult to meet in an area with all the rules and regulations, 6 feet away, but we will definitely discuss that before Thursday. [when the Yankees open the season in Washington]. »

While baseball was closed due to the coronavirus, the judge participated in a video, which featured many African-American baseball players, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Judge Yankees’ teammate Luke Voit asked about those who knelt, said: “Obviously this is a long-standing discussion with everything that is going on. But I respect them. It’s an ongoing conversation that we need to have as players. We all have a voice. And we have to step up because this country has been in a strange place. But then I too… my brother is in the army, I also want to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives. And I also want to honor my brother. So it’s a little different, but I understand. We need change, and I hope he does something that can make this world better.

Judge and Sees manager Aaron Boone reiterated the green light for one of his players who chooses to act once the season has started. No Yankees have acted out of the ordinary in the team’s three exhibition games in New York.

“What I would say to that is I support this,” Boone said of the kneeling. “This country allows you to express yourself in different ways and that is one of its beauties. So I respect the way someone wants to demonstrate, whether in protest or in solidarity, whatever the reason – I have no problem with that. I support this. And if that happens to us as a club, I will support anyone who has a strong feeling about it in one way or another. We talked about it a bit, yes. We’ll talk a little more about things that are planned for opening day and beyond when we meet. [Wednesday] again and we will meet in Washington. So we’ll see where that leads. ”

Dom Smith of the Mets, who has spoken eloquently about race relations especially since George Floyd’s death in May, expressed his gratitude for those who took that position. He added, “I haven’t really thought about kneeling down, because I do so much in the community to show change. I just didn’t really think about taking a knee or not. Who knows what I could do? But I think taking a knee is good to just show our support and support as a community.

Smith is proud, he says, to spend time with young people in south-central Los Angeles, where he grew up.

“It’s a lot more impactful and powerful when you spend time with the kids and inspire the kids,” he said.

Smith’s teammate Jacob deGrom said: “Honestly, we haven’t really talked [kneeling] too much. It is everyone’s choice what they do. I respect their decisions, what they decide to do. I think that’s the beauty of this country. You are allowed to make choices. “

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