Jackie Bradley Jr. offers a unique perspective to all that’s currently going on in the United States.
Professional athletes have spent the last few days speaking out after video was released of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by Kenosha, Wisc. police.
As one of the only Black men on the Boston Red Sox, the center fielder often speaks on behalf of his team when these issues of police brutality and racial injustice arise.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with my mother about it,” Bradley on Wednesday said in his postgame Zoom conference when asked about NBA and MLB games being postponed, and how he looks at certain issues given that his mother, Alfreda Hagans, is a former Virginia State Trooper.
“And to hear the things that she’s seen as a cop, the things she’s experienced as a Black woman. She’s able to tell you from both sides that she’s seen some stuff. She’s seen some bad stuff. And I’m glad that my mother is alive. She’s a very strong woman and she’s been able to instill a lot of great qualities in her children and I have the utmost respect for my mother.”
Bradley became aware some Major League Baseball teams had followed suit with the NBA in boycotting games just prior to Boston’s 6:37 p.m. ET game against the Toronto Blue Jays, but the early start didn’t provide his team enough time to have the discussion about if they wanted to play or not.
But certainly, the matter is weighing on Bradley’s heart, as he kneels before the national anthem. But he knows what it will take to impact real change, and that’s unity.
?I am the only Black person on this team,? he said. ?So I kind of feel like it?s my responsibility to address it in certain situations just so people can see what I feel and the things that I think about. I can take it on.
?I think voices are being heard. Hopefully changes are being made and we just have to continue to grow, continue to push forward and try to be better as individuals and together as well.?