The Tampa Bay Rays just made a strong statement on the Black Lives Matter movement. On the morning of their season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rays shared their thoughts on the Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. It's clear the Rays want justice for her death.
"Today is Opening Day, which means it's a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor," the Rays wrote on Twitter. The tweet earned over 357,000 likes and 6,000 comments. Back in March right during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Taylor, a 26-year old Black woman from Kentucky, was shot and killed by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department. The officers entered Taylor's apartment as they were investigating two men they believed were selling drugs. Taylor was there with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and he got his gun when police starting to knock down the door. Walker has maintained that he was unaware the people entering the home were police and shot at them in self-defense. Several shots were fired by police and Taylor was shot eight times. None of the officers have been criminally charged.
The Rays have been on the forefront when it comes to social justice. When George Floyd died, the Rays released a statement on the racial issues in the country. "Black Lives Matter, " the statement said. "Police Brutality is inhumane. We fully support the protestors exercising their civil rights. We stand with black families living in fear. Our country demands better than this for its people. We can't breathe." The statement went on to say the Rays are "committing $100,000 per year to supporting causes in the fight against systemic racism."
Before the start of the Rays' Opening Day game against the Blue Jays, first base coach Ozzie Timmons and third base coach Rodney Linares took a knee during the national anthem while infielder Willy Adames putting a hand on them. After the game, Adames said: "I support equality and I think everybody should do that. For me, it's pretty special that I can support two of my coaches and my friends out there. I'm just happy that I’m right next to them to support them."
A number of MLB teams have supported the Black Lives Matter movement over the weekend. Both New York Yankees and Washington Nationals players kneeled during the national anthem while the Boston Red Sox posted a billboard outside Fenway Park that said "Black Lives Matter."