Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and the entire organization was called out Thursday by two of its Black minor leaguers.
First baseman Chris Gittens and outfielder Caanan Smith want the Yankees to do more to support the Black community, which has been outraged again since last Sunday when Wisconsin man Jacob Blake was shot seven times by a police officer while resisting arrest.
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“Really need my team to make a statement,” tweeted Gittens, a first baseman who hit 23 homers playing for Double-A Trenton in 2019. “You have guys in your organization that needs to see that you are with us and not about the money!!! Don’t stay silent!!!!! #BLM”
Smith, who was a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, later followed suit by tweeting, “Yankees be with us.”
Yankees 2018 first round draft pick Anthony Seigler, a catching prospect who is white, is with the Black community.
“You can love me or hate me,” Seigler tweeted. “I (don’t) care. BLM.”
Seigler also posted a selfie of himself to his Instagram account with his fist in the air that was accompanied with a “BLM” message.
There have been a lot of NBA, NHL and MLB games called off Wednesday and Thursday because players opted to strike in support of Blake, who was paralyzed from the waist down, but the Yankees played their doubleheader Wednesday in Atlanta, losing both games.
There have been no reports that the Yankees, who have Thursday off, will join in and strike on Friday instead of playing a Subway Series doubleheader against the Mets at Yankee Stadium.
“We’ve got to do better,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday. “And, you know, I certainly understand the pain that exists out there.”
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