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Mets’ Dom Smith: Racism ‘happens every day’

@_dadler
June 14, 2020

The Mets’ Dominic Smith wrote about his experiences as a Black American and spoke out against racism in a post to Twitter and Instagram on Sunday captioned "Silence kills." "I spend most of my hours of the day thinking about what's going on in the world," Smith wrote. "When I

The Mets’ Dominic Smith wrote about his experiences as a Black American and spoke out against racism in a post to Twitter and Instagram on Sunday captioned "Silence kills."

"I spend most of my hours of the day thinking about what's going on in the world," Smith wrote. "When I got drafted in 2013 and left Los Angeles, I finally understood what my parents have been teaching me my whole life. Traveling the world playing the game I love for my career was by far the best thing that's ever happened to me, but it's also shown me how some people in this world really are.

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"As a Black man in America you encounter racism on every level. Your parents prep you for it. They prep you for routine police stops. They prep you on how to talk to people with respect. When you have one strike against you [your skin color] you have to make the people you come across like you, and you do it with respect, with a smile, with love."

Smith explained how his own baseball journey helped him understand the effects of systemic racism in America -- in areas like education, job opportunities and mass incarceration. He described the importance of speaking out against racism and taking action to create change.

"I'm not saying all people have prejudice or are racist because they're not. I'm just speaking on personal experiences I've had," Smith wrote. "The system has been killing African-Americans and minorities for hundreds of years and enough is enough! I don't want to fear being stopped by a police officer or looked down because of my skin color! It shouldn't have taken the death of so many innocent men and women for the world to take notice. And if we didn't have social media or smart phones, how many more innocent lives would we have lost? SILENCE KILLS."

Smith hashtagged his post with the names of 20 Black Americans who have been killed: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Trayvon Martin, Michael Lorenzo Dean, Botham Jean, Alteria Woods, Alton Sterling, Terrill Thomas, Kevin Hicks, Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Dante Parker, Tamir Rice, Tony Robinson, Eric Harris, Joseph Mann and Billy Ray Davis.

"My heart goes out to all the families who have lost loved ones in these tragic situations," Smith wrote. "It's not acceptable, it's not okay, it's not ethical. Our people have been fighting for decades and we're still here today, reaching another chapter of Black Lives Matter.

"The social media posts, protests, petitions, donations will all play a part in bringing about real change. And I'm committed to doing everything I can to be a part of that. But don't let a photo or video be the only thing that triggers action. Racism is something that happens every day and it's going to take every day forward to create a world of equal opportunity. I believe in US! BE THE CHANGE."

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.