Cubs' Epstein questions own hiring practices, lack of front-office diversity
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is ready to do his part to help increase diversity in the sport.
During a conference call Monday, Epstein acknowledged that his own privilege has shaped how he's chosen people to work alongside him in the Cubs' front office.
"I'm the white person who has had a lot of advantages in life," Epstein said, according to 670 The Score. "I can't begin to walk in the shoes of a black person in this country or a black player in Major League Baseball. But I think I can also look inward too. I (think) that's another step that we all have to take in society as well as in the game - is take a hard look at ourselves."
He added, "The majority of people that I hire, if I'm being honest, have similar backgrounds to me and look a lot like me. And that's something that I need to ask myself, why? I need to question my own assumptions, my own attitudes. I need to find a way to do better. If we all take that approach in the industry - we need to. If there's one thing we've learned with systemic racism in general in this world, the system doesn't check itself. It's on each of us to take action and stand up and make some changes."
Epstein, who has headed the Cubs' front office since 2011, admitted diversity is an issue that "needs to be addressed" by both his team and MLB as a whole. He'd like to see further steps taken to ensure more black and minority individuals are employed prominently in baseball.
"Protocols are nice, but results are better," he said. "We're just not (there). I think it's two African-American GMs and two African-American managers at the moment. It's not at a place where it needs to be. I think we all recognize that."
The 46-year-old added that these issues extend beyond the diamond. While acknowledging George Floyd's death, Epstein also named other black people who died in police custody and other "racist violence in this country ... decade after decade, century after century," and he expressed his full support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"At this moment in time, silence is complicity. It's important that all of our voices are heard."