Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and GM Jed Hoyer were asked about San Francisco Giants manger Gabe Kapler’s decision not to participate in the national anthem before games as a form of protest against the government’s inaction on gun violence. As Hoyer said, because of the attention sports get and the platform they are afford, it can be appropriate for figures like them to discuss these issues.
You can see their full comments here at NBC, and I think it’s important to see what they have to say:
Stick to sports?
Forget it, Cubs’ leaders say.
Sports leagues have platforms they should use to try to effect change during a “really sad, bad time” in our country.
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) May 29, 2022
Among the comments, I found what David Ross had to say compelling:
“I don’t have the answers, but I think something needs to change,” Ross said. “I mean, anybody that’s a parent that has kids that saw what’s happening around our country lately, the radar’s up. And put yourself in those people’s shoes, and something needs to change. I’m not a lawmaker. But something’s got to happen ….
“Anytime you get to get in front of a camera and get in front of millions of people on TV, I think you use that platform for the best that you feel you can use it,” Ross said. “I love what Steve Kerr said. [Dodgers manager] Dave Roberts had some choice words that he said the other day. I couldn’t agree with those two more. Something’s got to change.”
If you missed what Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which is what Ross was referencing, you can see it here. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke about it here. Sports or not, they have a platform to reach a wide audience, and they are using it to send a message that, for whatever reason, keeps being ignored: we need actual action. And we can’t just do the usual thing where we talk about it for a few sad days and then just move on, waiting for the next mass shooting.