San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski said Thursday he plans to stand during the national anthem this season after starting off last year kneeling amid a summer of racial tension in the U.S.
According to The Athletic, the grandson of Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski told reporters he knelt last year in hopes to create a conversation and awareness about racial injustice. He said he felt like he “made that statement.”
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The Giants’ outfielder’s comments came before San Francisco’s first game of the season against the Seattle Mariners. The right fielder finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and the Giants lost 8-7 in 10 innings.
He was one of many MLB players who decided to take a knee during the national anthem as the coronavirus pandemic-shortened season got underway last July. He explained his actions at the time in an Instagram post.
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“The United States Flag represents to me the ultimate sacrifice that a man or woman can make. They have made the selfless decision to devote and risk their life for the protection, peace and freedom of our country. For them, I will always cover my heart and be forever grateful,” he wrote in July.
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By kneeling last night, I wanted to hold myself, and hopefully others accountable that something needs to change and I am willing to be part of the change because we all deserve the freedom that our veterans and active members have sacrificed their lives for.”