The New York Mets and the Miami Marlins walked off Citi Field in protest.
As the game between NL East rivals was about to start, the players on both sides removed their ball caps, put it over their hearts and stood there in silence for 42 seconds, paying tribute to Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the MLB color barrier in 1947. They then walked off the field in protest, leaving only a Black Lives Matter t-shirt over home plate as a sign they were even there.
The New York Mets and the Miami Marlins will not tolerate racial injustice.
In the last 48 hours, the sports world has been turned upside again due to racial injustice in America. Months after the George Floyd murder up in Minneapolis, the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin has athletes and all of us asking: When will police brutality towards black people ever stop?
Making matters even more complicated ahead of the Mets’ home game vs. the Marlins was the exchange that was picked up on a hot mic from Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The conversation was unsettling. Van Wagenen was discussing with someone off camera owner Jeff Wilpon’s plan for players to take the field, protest and come back an hour later. He wasn’t pleased.
While the initial reporting was that Van Wagenen was being incredibly critical of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s idea, this was actually Mets’ lame duck owner Jeff Wilpon, who reportedly plans to sell the team here in the coming weeks. Van Wagenen released his own statement shortly after the hot mic video went viral, apologizing to Manfred for wrongfully accusing him.
Even though Van Wagenen falsely accused Manfred of such a tone-deaf idea, his heart was in the right place. His public apology to Manfred was sincere, as he took the matter up with Wilpon privately. The sooner Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez and the rest of that group purchases the Mets, the better. The Wilpons have been nothing short of a nightmare for a very long time.
Meanwhile, the Mets and Marlins made a statement of their own, even if initial reporting claimed it wasn’t their idea.