Blue Jays players kneel during season opener national anthem

During the national anthem members of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays took a knee during that American national anthem.

Several members of the Toronto Blue Jays knelt in solidarity with those fighting racial injustice during the team’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Anthony Alford, Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio all took a knee during the United States national anthem.

Guerrero Jr. announced his intentions to kneel prior to the game.

“I sat down with [Anthony] Alford a couple times and there’s some things, this situation, I’m very hurt inside for what’s happening right now,” he said, via a translator, during a media availability. “It’s [the] reality of things that are happening right now for people with our colour.”

Manager Charlie Montoyo discussed the team’s decision to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement during a media availability prior to the game.

“I’m supporting one of my players, Anthony Alford,” Montoyo said, wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. “Players know it’s their choice [to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt or not]. So it was my choice to wear it.”

In early June, Alford spoke with Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi about his own experiences with racial injustice and the need for change in the wake of continued incidents like that of the killing of George Floyd.

Toronto’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement comes after similar displays during yesterday’ Washington Nationals–New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers–San Francisco Giants games, the first official matches of the pandemic-delayed 2020 season.

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