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Tampa Bay Rays pitch for racial equity on opening day

Margie Manning



Photo credit: Tampa Bay Rays Twitter account

There won’t be any fans in the stands making noise at the Tampa Bay Rays 2020 home opener tonight, but the team will be making a loud statement about Black Lives Matter.

In a series of tweets Friday, the Rays made a pitch for racial equity, including releasing a social justice resource guide in conjunction with an earlier financial commitment to local and national groups fighting systemic racism.

The Major League Baseball team said the resource guide is an evolving document intended to help educate and spread awareness around what each person can do in the community, with a goal to be part of a meaningful, community-wide effort to create positive change. See the guide here.

“Utilizing our platform, we seek to amplify the important, ongoing work being done by those on the front lines of this effort,” the online resource guide says.

The Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies have pledged $100,000 to five groups: CDC of Tampa Inc., Pinellas County Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Hillsborough and Pinellas Ex Offender, according to a Twitter post.

It was one of several Twitter posts by the Rays on Friday, in advance of their season opener Friday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Many Major League Baseball teams have also put Black Lives Matter center stage on opening day, CNN reported. A new policy from MLB, obtained by CNN, says the league “stands in solidarity with the Black community in the fight for racial and social justice … and recognizes more needs to be done.”

The Rays, and other MLB teams, will play their 60-game season without fans present due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but for $60 ($40 for season ticket holders) fans can show their support by uploading photos of themselves that will be made into cardboard cutouts that will be “seated” in the general admission areas in the stadium. The Rays also are testing fake crowd noise in an effort to try to make the games a little bit more “normal” for players.

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  1. Avatar

    LJ Milo

    July 25, 2020at4:01 am

    People watch sports to relax and enjoy the game and to get away from stress for a little while, NOT to be lectured about how racist they are. I guess it is time to turn off the games and read a good politicized book.

  2. Avatar

    LJ Milo

    July 25, 2020at4:07 am

    Nonpoliticized book!

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