Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler recently apologized for wearing a "Blue Lives Matter" flag face mask after Minneapolis resident George Floyd died while getting arrested by police. Kepler received a ton of backlash for the mask, which features the American flag with black and white colors, and one singular blue stripe in the middle. It represents the 2014 countermovement of the Black Lives Matter organization.
Once Kepler saw he was getting attacked for the mask, he deleted the photo from an Instagram account and said he didn't realize what it meant. "Didn't know what the blue line stood for," Kepler wrote on his Instagram messages in his response to a fan: "Police is green in Germany." Kepler is from Germany and went to high school in Berlin. He signed with the Twins in 2009 and made his MLB debut in 2015. Kepler would later write a formal apology, stating he will take full responsibility for his actions.
max kepler. i feel nothing but betrayal and disgust. pic.twitter.com/HM46Exi3cW— sarah (@pens_r_us) May 28, 2020
"Earlier, I posted a photo of me in a mask that was sent to me by a company, to wear during the pandemic. I had no idea that the mask had any underlying inferences — I simply thought it looked good. After I was informed, I immediately took down the post," Kepler wrote in his Instagram story, via the New York Daily News. "I take complete responsibility for not knowing what I was wearing. I am truly sorry for the hurt and pain my actions have caused, especially now. Racism has no place in our world and I do not in any way support the actions that we all witnessed that led to George Floyd's passing." As for the Twins, they have not responded to Kepler's actions, but they released a statement on Floyd's death.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd on Monday night in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins send out deepest sympathies to the Floyd family and join with our Twin Cities community in mourning," the statement read. "We will continue working with our community partners to move forward with courage, free of hate and thoughtful in our path, to create the change we want to see in the world - one, all-inclusive Twins Territory, where everyone is protected safe and welcome."