Angels' Middleton: 'I can use my platform for change' by kneeling
Los Angeles Angels reliever Keynan Middleton said that he kneeled with his right fist in the air during the U.S. national anthem Monday because he wanted to use his status as an MLB player to speak out against racism.
"Before pioneers like Jackie Robinson, a Black man didn't have a voice in the game of baseball. ... I will not allow that to go to waste," Middleton said Tuesday in a statement. "Kneeling for me is one way I can use my platform for change in a peaceful way. I have the utmost respect for all the brave men and women that served this country.
"We must all take this fight against racial injustice seriously. Until things start to change in this country, and my brothers and sisters don't have to live in fear."
Middleton's protest came before an exhibition game against the San Diego Padres.
The right-hander wasn't the only member of a major-league team to take a knee during the anthem Monday. Several San Francisco Giants players and coaches, including manager Gabe Kapler, also kneeled in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.