Ian Desmond announced he’s opting out of the 2020 MLB season, but that was only part of the message he wanted to send out on Monday.
The Colorado Rockies outfielder’s announcement came at the end of a lengthy post lamenting the lack of diversity across MLB, increasing costs of youth baseball, and the racism he has experienced in his life.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk that I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond wrote at the end of his post.
He added: “With a pregnant wife and and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now. Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus, Civil Rights and life. Home to be their dad.”
“The image of Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd, the gruesome murder of a Black man in the street at the hands of a police officer, broke my coping mechanism. Suppressing my feelings became impossible.”
Desmond also questioned the current culture in big-league baseball.
“In clubhouses we’ve got racist, sexist, homophobic jokes or flat-out problems,” he wrote. “We’ve got cheating. We’ve got a minority issue from the top down. One African American GM. Two African American managers. Less than 8% Black players. No Black majority team owners.”
Desmond is in the fourth year of a five-year, $70 million contract with the Rockies and he was scheduled to bring in $15 million this season until the coronavirus shrunk the season to 60 games.