“No one has done it, yet, but that’s the key word here: Yet. We will see.’’ - Adam Jones
One of the biggest stories not just in sports, but in USA news recently has been the protests from NFL players during the pre-game national anthem. Collin Kaepernick ruffled some feathers when he elected to remain seated on the bench during the national anthem to protest racial inequality, and has since been joined by a handful of other NFL players. These players have since elected to kneel, rather than sit, during the national anthem, which does not disrespect anyone or anything, and is absolutely their right to do; in fact, many of these players still placed their hands over their hearts, which is even more to prove their is no disrespect intended here. While several NFL players have joined Kaepernick, there has yet to be any MLB players to protest, and five-time Allstar Adam Jones gave his thoughts on the lack of protest -
“We already have two strikes against us already, so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us. Baseball is a white man’s sport.’’
“He believes in what he believes in,’ and as a man of faith, as an American who has rights, who am I to say he’s wrong?Kaepernick is not disrespecting the military. He’s not disrespecting people who they’re fighting. What he’s doing is showing that he doesn’t like the social injustice that the flag represents. Look, I know a lot of people who don’t even know the words to the national anthem. You know how many times I see people stand up for the national anthem and not pay attention. They stand because they’re told to stand. That’s the problem. Just don’t do something because you’re told to do something. Do it because you understand the meaning behind it and the sacrifice behind it.’’
“Here’s my thing, there’s somebody on the 49ers’ team that commits an act like that, accosts a 70-year-old man and his kid, and nobody’s talking about that. But they talk about Kaepernick doing something that he believes in, as his right as an American citizen. People need to talk more about that guy than Kaepernick. He’s not receiving the ridicule and public torture that Kaepernick is facing. Is Kaepernick hurting me? No. Is he hurting random people out there? No. I support his decision. At the end of the day, if you don’t respect his freedoms, then why the hell are we Americans? It’s supposed to be the Land of the Free, right?’
“I’ve seen Kaepernick called the N-word, just because he’s being sensitive to what has happened to African-Americans in this country. It’s crazy how when people of color speak up, we’re always ridiculed. But when people that are not of color speak up, it’s their right. The First Amendment says we have freedom of expression. We’re supposed to be so free, so free. But any time anybody of color speaks up in the United States, for some odd reason, they always get the raw end of the deal. It sucks. At the end of the day, black men have fought for this right. Indians have fought for this right. White people fought for this right. Mexicans have fought for this right. Japanese have fought this for this right. The United States was not just made up of one race. So let’s just not say that in America, only one person can say something. We all have input because America has always been a country that has united everybody.’’
“The outside world doesn’t really respect athletes,’ unless they talk about what they want them to talk about. Society doesn’t think we deserve the right to have an opinion on social issues. We make a lot of money, so we just have to talk baseball, talk football. But most athletes, especially if you’re tenured in your sport, you’re educated on life, and on more things than most people on the outside. But because Donald Trump is a billionaire, he can say whatever he wants, because he’s older and has more money? And when Kaepernick does something, or says something, he’s ridiculed. Why is that? ’’
"Society doesn’t mind us helping out the ‘hood and inner cities, but they have a problem when we speak about the hood and inner cities. I don’t understand it."
“I’m sticking up for people who don’t have the voice, Fortunately, I have the voice, I have the reach and I think it was time for it to be said."
"There’s going to be backlash, of course there is, because people don't like the truth."
Adam Jones has since heard positive feedback from several players around the MLB, and one can only assume that it's a matter of time before baseball also sees protests from it's players. Jones himself has not protested himself, and does not plan to due to family members who serve in the military, but he does intend to be more vocal on this subject.