In a gesture of support for Black Lives Matter, all baseball players from the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees clutched a long black cloth and took a knee for around 20 seconds on Thursday, before standing for the national anthem.
With no fans in the stands on the official Opening Day of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season, delayed by four months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the players knelt after a pre-recorded message read out by actor Morgan Freeman was played, calling for players to “lead the charge” and to “level the playing field.”
None of the players at Nationals Park knelt while the national anthem was played, in contrast to earlier in the week, when some members of the Giants and Angels took a knee during the anthem prior to an exhibition game. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick initiated the practice of kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a protest against police brutality.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National threw the first pitch at the game that launched the MLB season, delayed due to the pandemic.
“I believe with everything we did beforehand, wearing the Black Lives Matter T-shirts, the patches and the unity ceremony before, that’s what was decided,” Stanton added.
The Washington Nationals, the reigning World Series champions, posted photos of some of their players wearing t-shirts with Black Lives Matter on them, captioning the photo, “Playing for more than ourselves.”
Some Twitter users expressed support, others opposition.
“This is a very divisive organization based on Marxist principles,” Loeffler said in an appearance on the “Ingraham Angle.”
“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable,” Black Lives Matter Global Network writes on its website.
Two of the three BLM co-founders are self-described Marxists, followers of theories that stem from Karl Marx’s teachings. Marx is known as the founder of communism.
Black Lives Matter Global Network didn’t respond to an earlier request for comment.