After George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota, Dominic Smith was one of the New York Mets‘ most outspoken players about racial issues in America. Now, only a few days after Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot in the back seven times by a white policeman in Wisconsin, the slugger was very emotional and discussed important issues in tears.
Last night, prior to the Mets’ game against the Miami Marlins, Smith kneeled during the national anthem. Then after the game, he spoke at length about the matter.
Smith grew up in an impoverished, dangerous neighborhood. He met injustice, face to face, many times. He clearly knows how difficult it is to be a Black American.
On Wednesday, the events that unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the weekend inspired the Milwaukee Bucks to boycott an NBA game. Then, the Milwaukee Brewers followed suit.
“I’ve been very emotional just to kind of see this continually happen,” Smith said, crying during a postgame Zoom call with the media, quoted by MLB.com. “It was a long day for me. I kind of wasn’t there mentally.
The Mets’ star needs us to care and act, not just stare
“I think the most difficult part is to see people still don’t care. For this to just continually happen, it just shows just the hate in people’s hearts. That just sucks. Being a Black man in America is not easy.”
Smith, currently a big part of the New York Mets’ offense, hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He founded Baseball Generations, an organization that helps players develop in California, specifically in the inner-city Los Angeles, once he got to the major leagues.
“There are a lot of things we can do in the inner city just to bring happiness to children,” Smith said. “I didn’t grow up with money. That [expletive] doesn’t mean nothing to me. If you can give your time, that’s the thing that matters.
That’s why I feel so emotional about it, because people get their money and they leave. You can’t do that. You’ve got to be there for the children that’s coming up after us. I think that’s the biggest thing is if you give your time, that’s the only way we can change.”
Dominic Smith is a remarkable young man. Listen to what he says. Feel his emotion. It doesn’t have to be this way. pic.twitter.com/0KcRw3G5Li
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) August 27, 2020