BOSTON (CBS) — Prior to the first game of the MLB season in Boston, the Red Sox dedicated their pregame ceremony to the ongoing push for social justice in America.
As part of that ceremony, with the words “Black Lives Matter” displayed throughout the ballpark, team PA announcer referenced the murder of George Floyd and introduced a video put together by a group of Black baseball players. The video featured Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., as well as former Red Sox Mookie Betts and David Price.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. (@JackieBradleyJr) June 16, 2020
Starting with a group of Red Sox staffers wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts on the right field foul line, both the Red Sox and Orioles grabbed hold of a unity ribbon, “to show that they’re together” in what is a unique season at a unique moment in history.
The entirety of the Orioles organization took a knee while holding the ribbon prior to the signing of the national anthem. On the Red Sox’ side of the field, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Verdugo were the lone Red Sox players to kneel down for both the pre-anthem and the anthem itself.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 25, 2020
Red Sox first base coach Tom Goodwin and third base coach Carlos Febles also knelt during the anthem, while Michael Chavis rested his hand on Bradley’s back to show support.
Red Sox players also wore “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts during pregame warmups.
Almost time. pic.twitter.com/ChIRTwqnUk
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 24, 2020
After kneeling before the anthem, the Orioles rose to stand together with their arms locked during the singing of the national anthem.
After the anthem, local youth advocate and COVID-19 survivor Robert Lewis Jr. threw out the first pitch, flanked by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
After Lewis was introduced as hero of the community, the trio threw out “pitches” from the center field bleachers, not far from a “Black Lives Matter” banner. The Red Sox’ starting outfield of Bradley, Andrew Benintendi and Kevin Pillar caught the pitches.