If a Miami Marlins player or coach wants to kneel during the national anthem to bring awareness to social injustices, new owner Derek Jeter says he won’t stand in their way.
Speaking to the media before a Turn 2 Foundation charity event on Wednesday, Jeter clearly stated he would have no issue with a member of his organization kneeling in peaceful protest.
Derek Jeter said he wouldn't have a problem if member of Marlins kneeled during national anthem #Yankees
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) October 11, 2017
Jeter is taking over at a time when the sports world and United States in general is divided over players kneeling during the national anthem. Some owners, like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, have taken a strong stance against the protests, flatly telling players that if they kneel, they won’t play. Others have been more supportive of the cause, allowing players to make their own decisions.
Jeter will fall under the latter category, which should come as no surprise given how outspoken he’s been in the past about his dealings with racism growing up in Michigan. Jeter was also very supportive of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first prominent athlete to take a knee during the 2016 NFL season.
“If you have the platform to speak up and you choose to do so, then that is your prerogative,” Jeter told the crowd at an event last October. “When you have this platform, you should try to impact people’s lives in a positive way, and that is what we are teaching these kids in our leadership program. Your voice is powerful.”
The issue took on new life recently when President Trump called for NFL players to be fired if they didn’t stand during the national anthem. Trump says it’s a sign of disrespect to the flag and the men and women who have served the country. Others see it as a symbol of the freedom those men and women fought for.
Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell was among those sharing the latter sentiment, though he remains the one and only Major League Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.
It remains to be seen if kneeling during the national anthem will become more of a trend in MLB. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it probably won’t be. But Jeter’s support might change some minds in Miami and elsewhere.
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