PHOENIX – Andrew McCutchen has relished these past few days in the Philadelphia Phillies clubhouse, having difficult, important conversations with baseball teammates about racial injustice.
As a Black man in a sport that's filled with mostly white and Hispanic players, he doesn't feel it's a burden to lead in the discussions. He's just glad that on Jackie Robinson Day, they're conversations that everyone is willing to have, even if the answers aren't always clear.
“People want to know what’s next, want to know the answers,” McCutchen said. “It’s OK to not have the answers, it’s OK to not know what’s next.
"What’s not OK is not caring what’s next.”
Major League Baseball observed a Jackie Robinson Day like no other Friday, with teams celebrating a man who broke the sport's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. More than 70 years later, the racial reckoning continued.
Eleven games were postponed this week as some teams joined other leagues like the NBA, WNBA and MLS in protesting social injustice.
The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros took the field Friday night and then left after a moment of silence, draping a Black Lives Matter T-shirt across home plate as they chose not to play. They will play a doubleheader Saturday.
Teams across the league were celebrating the day in various ways. As usual, players, managers, coaches, umpires and other on-field personnel were wearing Robinson’s No. 42.