Washington, DC – Every member of the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees took a knee before the playing of the National Anthem in the season opener for Major League Baseball.
USA Today reported the kneeling before the National Anthem was a coordinated gesture by both teams. The Yankees won the game, 4-1.
There were no fans in the stands in the game due to the coronavirus.
Many of the New York Yankees wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts during batting practice, USA Today reported.
Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone also wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
After batting practice, all the players from both teams gathered on their respective baselines while a video was played that promoted Black Lives Matter, according to the New York Post.
When the video ended, the players all knelt for about one minute. The players then stood for the playing of the National Anthem.
“To have everyone kneel at the same time, it was to give hope to any overall reason you want to do it,” said Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, according to USA Today. “For me, it’s for the racial injustice and black lives in general. And a lot of other things going on. We all have individual reasons to do so.”
New York Yankee Aaron Judge said there were varied opinions on the team about what to do.
“We’ve got a lot of guys in this clubhouse with different beliefs, different feelings and different walks of life,” Judge said, according to the New York Post. “We wanted to respect all that. As a team, we came to the united decision to kneel right before the anthem.”
In the other game played Thursday night, several players knelt during the National Anthem in the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to MLB.com.