BOSTON (CBS) — For the first time ever, Opening Day at Fenway Park will not include any fans in attendance. That unique circumstance, though, won’t prevent the Red Sox from holding pregame festivities before their first home game of the season.
The team announced on Thursday — one day in advance of their season opener vs. Baltimore — that “elements of the Black Lives Matter movement” will be “incorporated into the pregame ceremony and physically represented throughout the ballpark.” That news comes a day after the Red Sox unveiled a massive new billboard along the Mass Pike featuring the words “Black Lives Matter” in the Red Sox’ team font.
The team said that a 120-feet-wide and 20-feet-high sign will cover sections of the bleachers in center field, and a stencil of “BLM” will be on an MLB logo behind the mound.
“Outside of these public-facing elements, the Red Sox have taken steps internally to promote social justice, inclusion and equity,” the team’s announcement said.
The team’s website notes that it has created a Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee “comprised of 11 diverse employees from various areas of the organization charged with overseeing this work and ensuring it continues to be a top priority for our club.”
The Red Sox organization has also told players that the team “fully supports their right to peacefully protest and share their views and opinions using our games and our platforms. We want our clubhouse to be a place where players are free to express themselves, ask questions, and provide support for their teammates.”