BOSTON (AP) Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones says baseball players haven’t joined 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his national anthem protest because they are concerned about losing their jobs.
In an interview with USA Today, Jones said: “Baseball is a white man’s sport.”
“We already have two strikes against us,” Jones told the newspaper, which noted that black players made up just 8 percent of major league rosters compared to 68 percent in the NFL. “So you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.”
Kaepernick took a knee for the national anthem during San Francisco exhibition games and questioned whether the country represented “what it’s supposed to represent.” Other athletes have joined the protest.
The USA Today article noted that no baseball players have done so – at least not publicly. Jones, the Orioles’ nominee for baseball’s Roberto Clemente community service award, defended Kaepernick for taking a stand against social injustice but said he would continue to stand for the anthem.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hadn’t seen the comments but respected Jones’ right to criticize.
“That’s why we fought so hard for these rights,” he said, “to be able to do that in our country.”