Kathy Willens/Associated Press
When the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins Thursday, player jerseys could include special patches with social justice messages.
Per ESPN’s Howard Bryant, the league and teams are giving players a choice of different messages to include on their Opening Day jerseys, including “United for Change” and “BLM” for Black Lives Matter.
Bryant noted that Philadelphia Phillies star Andrew McCutchen and former All-Star Curtis Granderson have been working with the league to coordinate the message options for players.
MLB‘s decision to allow players to wear a patch comes as the league is considering various ways of incorporating social justice messages and elements throughout the regular season.
Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, MLB and the players have been in discussion about the elements, with “some kind of logo placed on uniforms or something shared and fronted by players.”
Among active players, McCutchen has been outspoken in wanting to see societal changes to end systemic racism.
“I’m not just about talking about the problem,” he told reporters on July 12. “Whatever that problem is, I’m trying to change it for the better. I’m not going to sit HERE and say I’m an activist now or I’m a scholar. I do also understand that I can make a difference in some way, shape or form, so I will be a part of things.”
The players who wear a patch will be known starting Thursday when the regular season begins. The New York Yankees play the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park at 7 p.m. ET in the first game, followed by the San Francisco Giants taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers at 10 p.m. ET.