2020 has been a year for increased awareness for issues that have plagued the United States for years, this includes the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse.
With the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd due to police brutality, people have seemed to wake up and finally realize that there is an issue with systemic racism in the United States. And, the Baltimore Orioles have felt the pain of this issue for years.
Professional athletes have taken a stand for what is right on multiple occasions since the protests began in late spring and Major League Baseball players have taken part in trying to use their platforms to create lasting change from here on out.
MLB was the second of the four major sports to decide to not play in protest of the Jacob Blake police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin a few weeks ago. On MLB’s delayed opening day in late July, teams showed unity and support for the cause.
While I could have posted the remainder of my Q&A with Orioles’ broadcaster and 1989 No. 1 pick, Ben McDonald, I decide to focus on what he told me that I feel could help us all grow and appreciate each other a little bit more.
McDonald told me of his time in MLB clubhouses and I think it is a good lesson on how to approach life in general, not just in a locker room.
“A baseball clubhouse is the most diverse clubhouse ever,” McDonald said. “That’s where I learned to get along with everybody. We had friends everywhere because we all had the same goals, pulling in the same direction. I didn’t care who you were, what color you were, who your presidential candidate was. I didn’t care. As long as you came to work every day like I came to work, and your goal was to win ball games, I’d get along with anybody. And when guys did that, I didn’t care what your name was, I didn’t care anything other than he’s on my side, I’ll go climb in a foxhole with that dude.”
I think McDonald’s words are profound and not just in baseball. I think, with the exception of a few bad apples, our society is all working toward the same goal of bettering the world. There’s no need to discriminate.
We all need to lift each other up and support each other, just like the clubhouses of America’s pastime.