Andrew McCutchen joined the chorus of athletes condemning police brutality amid protests across North America in the fight against racism.
"We cannot wait to change hearts and minds - too many people will die while we try," McCutchen wrote in a joint statement on USA Today with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis. "We need to transform American policing now. We need changes that will actually alter behavior, prevent officers from harming people with impunity, and allow officials to hold officers and departments accountable when they do."
The statement went further than condemning actions, though. McCutchen and Co. offered ideas on how to solve these issues.
"If the Supreme Court won't do it, we need Congress to end 'qualified immunity' that protects police officers from legal liability for even the most outrageous conduct," they wrote. "Qualified immunity prevents harmed individuals from receiving compensation unless there is another case, already decided, that involved basically identical facts. The likelihood of this type of similarity between acts of wrongdoing is scant at best. Without it, qualified immunity completely shields officers from civil consequences for their illegal acts."
Protests began following George Floyd's death in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. The four police officers involved were fired, and Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
McCutchen won the NL MVP award in 2013 and has made five All-Star appearances. The Philadelphia Phillies outfielder has also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, and New York Yankees.