With more teams around the league taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, the Twins have yet to decide on what they will do, if anything, before their season opener Friday against the White Sox in Chicago.
Twins righthander Jose Berrios, who will start the opener opposite of Chicago righthander Lucas Giolito, said the club continues to discuss a possible response.
“We [haven’t] decided yet,” Berrios said before the Twins’ 4-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. “We want to support each guy on our team, around the world. We need to decide. Yeah, we are talking about it.”
Several Giants players and coaches, led by manager Gabe Kapler, took a knee before their game Monday against the Athletics. Reds star Joey Votto joined three other teammates who knelt before Cincinnati’s game on Tuesday against Detroit.
Athletes around the world have taken a knee before games in protest following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25. Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that it will stencil “Black Lives Matter” behind pitchers’ mounds on Opening Day, and teams will be allowed to wear either a BLM patch or one that says, “United for Change.”
Teams are deciding if they want to support the cause in other ways, such as kneeling before games. New bench coach Mike Bell, whose brother, David, manages the Reds, said he has spoken with his brother for hours about the issue and is proud of him for how he has supported his players.
“As a team, we just are looking to support everyone, to care about everyone, to love everyone around them,” Mike Bell said. “We understand it’s an important issue. The thing that’s been most encouraging to me is that we’ve shared a lot of deep conversations, emotional conversations at times. What it shows me is how much everybody cares about one another, the community, the issues that are going on in the world.”
Whatever the Twins decide to do Friday, Berrios said, it should be done in unison.
“If you want to do that, we need to do it like a team, all together,” Berrios said. “That’s why we [haven’t] decided yet. We’re still talking about it.”