Current and recent black Major League Baseball players banded together in a video to show support for Black Lives Matter and asked fans to join them.
CC Sabathia, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Jason Heyward, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Jackie Bradley Jr., Dexter Fowler, Adam Jones, Mookie Betts, Curtis Granderson, Marcus Stroman and David Price are just some of the players seen in the video as part of the #Players4BLM campaign.
"We've been told that our peaceful pleas were not made at the right time, at the right place, in the right way. We've been told to 'wait.' But we remember when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned us that the word 'wait' has almost always meant never. We will wait no longer. We will make our voices louder for all of us who can and for all of those who could not.
"Eight minutes and 46 seconds is enough time to lift a knee, to do what is right, to say something, to acknowledge the pain of the black community. You have cheered for us, but we need you to cheer with us now when we need you most. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. It's our cheer for change. It's your cheer for us. It's these cheers that will unite us. One team. One dream. Be the change."
In total, 42 players are shown saying "Black lives matter," a number that carries extra symbolism in baseball, as it was the jersey number worn by Jackie Robinson, who became the first African-American major leaguer in 1947. His No. 42 is retired throughout MLB.
Only one player, former Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell, has taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem in a major league game. He did so in September 2017, but elected not to continue the practice going into the 2018 season. Recently, Cleveland Indians outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. expressed his regret in not joining his friend in the silent protest.