New York Mets outfielder Dominic Smith elected to play Wednesday against the Miami Marlins as some players and teams decided against it in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Smith knelt during the national anthem prior to the game and spoke emotionally with reporters about racial injustice and police brutality after the game.
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“Just with everything that’s going on in the world, I just decided to take a little notice, and for the world to take a step back and really just see what’s going on. That’s why I chose tonight,” Smith said of kneeling during the anthem, according to SNY. “I felt like tonight was the perfect night, especially with other teams canceling their games, especially looking at the NBA. They canceled all their games today, so I just wanted to make a stand like that and show my support.”
Smith added: “The most difficult part is to see that people still don’t care. For this to continually happen, this just shows the hate in people’s hearts. That just sucks, you know. Being a Black man in America is not easy. Like I said, I wasn’t there [mentally] today, but I will be fine.”
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Several NBA playoff games, as well as WNBA and MLB games, were postponed after Milwaukee Bucks players elected not to show up for their game against the Orlando Magic earlier in the day.
Smith’s teammate Michael Conforto told reporters he wished he had been on the field with him.
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“Obviously we support Dom and his views. He’s been pretty outspoken about how he feels,” Conforto said. “I actually walked past him, I didn’t see that he was kneeling, and I told him I wished I had been out there with him. … We support him 100 percent no matter what he chooses to do.”