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7 Tigers, Reds players kneel for anthem

Detroit first-base coach also knelt following special tribute
@m_sheldon
July 24, 2020

CINCINNATI -- When the Reds and Tigers lined up on the field -- socially distanced -- for Opening Day introductions on Friday, a special tribute was performed by both clubs to recognize the need for social change and justice for people of color. Players and staff from both clubs held

CINCINNATI -- When the Reds and Tigers lined up on the field -- socially distanced -- for Opening Day introductions on Friday, a special tribute was performed by both clubs to recognize the need for social change and justice for people of color.

Players and staff from both clubs held a 200-yard cloth of black ribbon that spanned both sides of Great American Ball Park’s playing field as a video narrated by actor Morgan Freeman was played on the scoreboards.

During the tribute, all members of the Tigers and a majority of the Reds knelt on the grass.

As the national anthem was performed by a local singing quartet, The Mistics, relief pitcher Amir Garrett and outfielder Phillip Ervin stayed on one knee for Cincinnati, while six members of Detroit’s club took to a knee: players Niko Goodrum, Christin Stewart, Jeimer Candelario, Cameron Maybin and Joe Jimenez, and first-base coach Dave Clark.

"We all know what we're trying to do here, and that's awareness, making people aware of what's been going on in our country," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "This is for respect, for my group out there and the things that are going on in this country that need to change. We're making a statement with the shirts."

Major League Baseball -- in collaboration with The Players Alliance, individual MLB players and the MLB 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.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.