Preston Wilson: MLB Late in Speaking Out on Social Justice

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[Preston Wilson]
Sports Illustrated: "Nine days after police officers in Minneapolis killed George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement overtook the headlines, Major League Baseball became the last major U.S. professional sports organization to speak out."
Photo: YouTube

Former MLB player Preston Wilson says the league's statement after George Floyd's murder was weak.

Preston Wilson read the statement and thought: That took too long, and it didn’t say enough.

Nine days after police officers in Minneapolis killed George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement overtook the headlines, Major League Baseball became the last major U.S. professional sports organization to speak out. “Our game has zero-tolerance for racism and racial injustice,” its statement read in part. “We will take the necessary time, effort and collaboration to address symptoms of systemic racism, prejudice and injustice, but will be equally as focused on the root of the problem.” Its tweet added, “We want to be better, we need to be better, and this is our promise to do the work.”

The statement “definitely could have been stronger,” says Wilson, a Black former All-Star center fielder, now 45. He was disappointed to see that it did not contain the words police brutality. “When you try to call out something but don’t name it, you’re not really doing anybody any good,” he says. “It’s like when you know something is racist and you hear the reporter say ‘racially charged.’ Until we can say these things, we’re gonna keep spinning our wheels.”

Still, the league that annually celebrates Jackie Robinson said it wanted to do the work, so Wilson quoted the tweet and wrote, “Give me a call.” But the commissioner’s office seems too worried about MLB to think about BLM. It has been 44 days, and no one from the league has called Wilson. That’s too bad. He has some ideas about why baseball has lost so much of Black America.

For the rest of this Sports Illustrated story log on to: https://www.si.com/mlb/2020/07/17/preston-wilson-baseball-black-lives-ma...

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