Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave a few interviews on Tuesday, regarding the hundreds of protests of systemic racism throughout the United States after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
“My wife, my kids, we’ve had a lot of conversations, obviously trying to stay in tune with what’s going on,” Roberts told SportsNet LA. “But to put eyes on that situation and how he was murdered, I just can’t get that visual out of my head — and nor should we.”
Floyd was in police custody in Minneapolis when he was pinned beneath three officers, including one who had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, long after he lost consciousness. Former police officer Derek Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. An independent autopsy found Floyd died of asphyxiation, contradicting the official report from the Hennepin County medical examiner.
Over the last week, there have been over 300 protests spread across all 50 states in the country, as well as abroad.
Roberts talked to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times about how many of the racial prejudices his father faced 60 years ago are still prevalent today:
“It’s disappointing to see my generation and the generation prior failing the younger generation,” Roberts said. “And that’s what’s really sad. You always hope for progress, but that just, unfortunately, isn’t the case.
“For me, the leaders of our country, unfortunately, aren’t good listeners and that’s how you impose change. People of color want to be heard. And when you have leaders that are put in positions to make change and don’t want to have those uncomfortable conversations, then change isn’t going to happen. There’s a difference between being educated and being ignorant. You have to understand that these situations happen every single day to people of color.”
Roberts in his interview with SportsNet LA:
“But again, this ‘back to normal’ thing, we’ve got to be better,” Roberts said. “I think this is going to spur something that, I hope and pray that my kids as they become parents can look back at this point in time — George Floyd, this pandemic, 2020 — can be looked back at a time of change and not really a time of sorrow and sadness.”
There have been various statements made over the last few days from MLB teams. It took the league until Wednesday morning to unveil their statement, the last of the major U.S. professional leagues to do so. Most of these statements are pretty bland, and are mostly self-serving, many not even mentioning George Floyd, Black Lives Matter (opting instead for general references to racism), or police brutality. The Orioles and Rays were among the few that stood out for their especially strong and actionable statements.
Among Dodgers players, a few social media posts stood out. Chad Moriyama has a thorough collection of posts from players in a tweet thread.
Mookie Betts on Instagram said, “Over the last few days I have sat in disbelief yet again, how a black man can be killed because of the color of his skin. As I continue to process the recent events, I am reminded that our fight is not over. We must not get comfortable when the protesting is over, but remain dedicated to our mission”
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Over the last few days I have sat in disbelief yet again, how a black man can be killed because of the color of his skin. As I continue to process the recent events, I am reminded that our fight is not over. We must not get comfortable when the protesting is over, but remain dedicated to our mission; EQUALITY FOR ALL! I AM MORE THAN AN ATHLETE… I AM A BLACK MAN, A FATHER, A SON, A BROTHER, & A FRIEND. #EnoughIsEnough #GodProtectUs #PleaseStopKillingUs
Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney tweeted, “We stand behind those marching for justice and desperately needed change in our society. We will not pretend that we have personally experienced your struggle, but we will use our voice to speak out against racism and stand with you all.”