Last night, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and individual club executives revealed additional support for Black Lives Matter, with all 30 clubs having a representative holding a sign on the broadcast. But more than that, executives would also personally be contributing more than $1 million to groups supporting Black Lives Matter.
Not only is Cubs President Theo Epstein participating, but according to Harold Reynolds, it was actually Epstein that started this particularly part of the process across baseball.
“I talked to [White Sox vice president] Kenny Williams first and he said Theo is driving the boat on this,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “He doesn’t take a lot of credit for it, but Theo, you ought to be commended.”
Reynolds said Epstein rode his bike to a rally in Chicago last Thursday and “was so impressed with this generation of young people,” protesting against racial injustice.
“Theo said he could not figure out how to get to sleep,” Reynolds said. “It was on his mind so much, that there was change he could do and start. He started contacting all the different friends that he has and it morphed to all 30 major league teams that he was able to reach the GMs and come up with this idea to really start to implement change.”
Epstein recently spoke about his efforts to counteract racial injustice in this country, and clearly wanted to do more.
“I’ve hired a black scouting director, [a] farm director in the past, but the majority of people that I’ve hired, if I’m being honest, have similar backgrounds as me and look a lot like me,” Epstein said during a conference call Monday. “That’s something I need to ask myself why. I need to question my own assumptions, my own attitudes. I need to find a way to be better ….
“It can be hard, and it can be painful to look at ourselves, but when the problem is systemic, we all have to admit that we’re all part of the problem, and we all have to do better to become part of the solution,” Epstein said. “And as a white person who’s had a lot of advantages and a lot of privilege, I can’t begin to walk in the shoes of a black person in this country or a black player in Major League Baseball.
“I think I can also look inward, too. I think that’s another step that we all have to take in society as well as in the game is being able to look hard at ourselves ….
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned with systemic racism in general, the system doesn’t fix itself. It’s on each of us to take action to stand up and make some changes.”
Tonight Theo Epstein and @MLB baseball operations leaders stood united for change in announcing more than $1 million in donations to organizations that believe #BlackLivesMatter. pic.twitter.com/VVZBypd3IN
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 11, 2020