White Sox promote social justice in opener

July 25th, 2020

CHICAGO -- Eight White Sox players and coaches knelt during the national anthem prior to Friday night’s 2020 season opener against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field in support of the fight for social justice.

, , , , , bench coach Joe McEwing, first-base coach Daryl Boston and starting pitcher in the bullpen took a knee as registered nurse Torri Crosby-Martin sang the anthem. White Sox manager Rick Renteria and third baseman placed a hand on Anderson’s shoulders as he knelt. Seven members of the Twins' roster, manager Rocco Baldelli and two coaches also knelt during the anthem.

“I think us as baseball players, if we have something we believe in, we have something we want to continue to keep in the public eye, then it's our right to be able to say that, whether it be peaceful protest or conversation,” Giolito said. “I'm all for that. I didn't see down the line; I'm sure a number of players took a knee. I did, as well. ... For change to happen, there has to be disruption, disruption from the status quo. That's what I believe in."

Prior to the anthem, a recorded narration by renowned actor Morgan Freeman that emphasized equality and empathy played across the stadium, and players from both teams held a piece of 200-yard-long black fabric as a sign of unity. Renteria and White Sox reliever knelt during that moment.

MLB -- in collaboration with The Players Alliance, individual MLB players and the Players Association -- has provided guidelines that invite players to support social justice and diversity and inclusion in baseball and life. MLB supports the players’ need to express themselves, while also recognizing that the way they choose to do so will vary from player to player.

In that spirit, MLB is providing flexibility for players to show their support for social justice that reflects their individual values and personalities.