Major League Baseball publicly condemned racism and racial injustice Wednesday as protests across the United States continue in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody.
"We offer our condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all the families that have lost loved ones due to senseless killings and injustice," MLB said in a statement nine days after Floyd was killed. "To be clear, our game has zero tolerance for racism and racial injustice. The reality that the black community lives in fear or anxiety over racial discrimination, prejudice, or violence is unacceptable.
"Addressing the issue requires action both within our sport and society. MLB is committed to engaging our communities to invoke change. We will take the necessary time, effort, and collaboration to address symptoms of systemic racism, prejudice, and injustice, but will be equally as focused on the root of the problem."
Protests demanding police accountability erupted in the U.S. last week after a video showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd saying that he couldn't breathe and becoming unresponsive. Chauvin and the other three officers involved in the incident were fired, and Chauvin is now facing criminal charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Several MLB stars have already spoken out about racial injustice and police brutality. St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty called for police officers to step up and be held accountable, while Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen wants qualified immunity to end. New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso and New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton also publicly denounced racial discrimination.