Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones thinks he knows why no Major League Baseball player has publicly refused to stand during the national anthem like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others around the world of sports.
“Baseball is a white man’s sport,” Jones told USA Today.
In the NFL, 68% of the players are African American; that compares with just 8% in the MLB. On opening day this spring, just 69 African American players were on teams’ rosters or disabled lists.
“We already have two strikes against us already, so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game,” Jones said of African American players in baseball. “In football, you can’t kick them out; you need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.”
Jones was vocal last year following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, using his experience of growing up in San Diego to relate to the young people rioting in Baltimore and try to help them find a more peaceful way to express their frustration.
As for Kaepernick, Jones says he supports the quarterback’s right to peaceful protest as well. “He believes in what he believes in, and as a man of faith, as an American who has rights, who am I to say he’s wrong?” Jones told the newspaper.
“Kaepernick is not disrespecting the military. He’s not disrespecting people who they’re fighting. What he’s doing is showing that he doesn’t like the social injustice that the flag represents.”