DENVER — Social justice protests, or however a person desires to characterize them, are continuing everywhere Major League Baseball is played.
Is the next stop Coors Field?
As MLB prepares for a belated opening day, the protests share the spotlight with the coronavirus pandemic. Do your Colorado Rockies have designs on kneeling during the national anthem?
“I don’t know what our players’ plans are (on) that. I have not personally had any conversations. Nobody’s brought it to my attention,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said during a conference call with media Monday. “I think our collection of guys are usually pretty good at that stuff. I would welcome those conversations and want to have those conversations.
“If kneeling during the anthem really, truly meant something to an individual or certain individuals on the team, I would love to hear their thought process and why they’re thinking the way they're thinking. To this point we have not had those sorts of conversations.”
Taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem began with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The practice mostly missed MLB. One ballplayer who did kneel was former Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell, who has not played in the big leagues since 2018, the same year he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell ultimately pleaded down to the latter charge.
The Rockies are expected to open camp Friday with the goal of opening the season July 23-24.
“Things are changing every day,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Monday. “All of us in the game are watching what’s going on.”
The NBA’s restart is scheduled for July 30. Same for the NHL. The NFL is going forward, business as usual. Given MLB’s earlier start date, all eyes will be on America’s pastime during America's national anthem.
“I just want to play baseball. When we get there we’ll see,” Black said.
“I have no problem with a player doing what they feel is right for them. I think that’s an individual thing for me, for each and every one of our players,” said Black, who was asked by Mile High Sports' Eric Goodman if the skipper himself plans to kneel during the anthem.
“Again, I think that the climate now of what’s going on, there’s a lot of emotion, a lot of things that are coming out that are very positive. That is great to see. I love the fact that we’re talking about this and people are listening, people are getting educated, people are being honest and emotional and speaking from the heart.
"And I think that’s going to continue, and I want to be a part of that as well. I hope that what’s going on currently continues, because I do think it’s a good thing.”