After the death of George Floyd, a black man, in the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis named Derek Chauvin – who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes – America has protested for weeks, asking for equality and no more racism. Several sports figures have stepped up and defended the cause, and the latest to do it was New York Mets‘ first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith.
Smith, the Mets’ first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, went to his personal Twitter account to post a long, meaningful message on Sunday afternoon, telling his own experiences with systemic racism in the country. He knows what it is to be a black man in America and in th world of baseball.
His tweet had the message “Silence kills” and the hashtags of some of the victims of racism, violence and death.
The Mets’ star has a message for you
“As a black man in America, you encounter racism on every level,” he wrote. “Your parents prep you for it. They prep you for routine police stops. They prep you on how to talk to people with respect. When you have one strike against you (your skin color), you have to make the people you come across like you, and you do it with respect, with a smile, with love.
“I didn’t understand it as a kid. I went to predominantly black schools my whole life, so when I got into the real world, it hit me. I saw how we were oppressed firsthand. Whether it’s education, job opportunities, healthcare, mass incarceration, social programs, financial hardship, and more. I saw how I wasn’t equal and treated unfairly because of my skin color.”
One of the New York Mets’ most talented young hitters, Smith is just beginning life in MLB baseball.
He also explained that it’s a duty for people to speak up when they encounter injustice at any level.
“The system has been killing African-Americans and minorities for hundreds of years, and enough is enough!” he said. “I don’t want to fear being stopped by a police officer or looked down (on) because of my skin color! It shouldn’t have taken the death of so many innocent men and women for the world to take notice. And if we didn’t have social media or smartphones, how many more innocent lives would we have lost?