Shildt on BLM: Everyone should 'have the same even playing field in life

Shildt, who wore a Black Lives Matter shirt during the press conference, expressed that the team was standing in solidarity with what the Black Lives Matter movement represents.

Sam Masterson
July 24, 2020 - 2:51 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, who wore a Black Lives Matter shirt during his pregame video conference, was asked about the message the team is spreading: 

"It’s about solidarity, it’s creating awareness, and I’m not going to get into the specifics of the actual entity. For me it’s more about what it represents in total that we continue to look to treat people fairly, that people regardless of race or color feel safe going out of their homes or feel safe in certain situations or circumstances that candidly, quite frankly, and obviously hasn’t been the case, especially with the African American population. That’s just reality. Everybody has their own version of reality, but I choose to support the fact that equality and unity is important and everybody should be - just like on a baseball field - have the same even playing field in life as well."

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Shildt also was asked about his feelings on some Cardinals fans who may disagree with what the team is doing: 

"We do understand the anthem is a sacred thing, the flag is a very sacred thing. We respect that of course. We will respect it moving forward. If we do something in a moment of silence and kneel prior to that it’s totally different and separate than the actual anthem which we will respect and stand for. Generally speaking to our group, our guys are ready, their hearts are in the right place. They are looking for a peaceful way to bring a little bit more awareness to something that has taken place for generations in our country. I’m please that the guys have a stance. In respect to Jack (Flaherty getting criticized) There is going to be criticism anytime you open your mouth and you stand for something. If you gather information, you do it in an appropriate manner, you’re respectful in how you do it, and it’s thought out, people might not agree with it, but hopefully they can respect it is coming from a place of goodness and I have a lot of respect for it." 

On Wednesday, Flaherty unveiled St. Louis' plan to have a Black Lives Matter statement etched in the pitching mound dirt for Friday's game. He talked about what it would mean for him to be the first player to step onto the Busch Stadium mound with that message beside him. 

"It's great to have the acknowledgment and that's kind of the place that you've got to start at," Flaherty says. 

The next day, Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. expressed his support for what Flaherty and the team decided to do in bringing awareness to social justice the Black Lives Matter movement. 

I think it’s great that Jack (Flaherty) personally is taking a very active interest, and I know a number of our players have done that as well," DeWitt Jr. says. "And we, as an organization, are totally committed to it. It’s an important social responsibility, I believe, of an institution like the St. Louis Cardinals.

"We’ll continue to support all the efforts that go into having social justice and the program for Black Lives Matter."

Around MLB on Opening Day teams found different ways to address matters of race and justice. The Boston Red Sox had a 250-foot billboard on the stadium: 

The Tampa Bay Rays shared a not-so-subtle tweet in support of justice for Breonna Taylor: 

The Yankees wore Black Lives Matter t-shirt during batting practice:

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