MLB opens draft with Black Lives Matter message

MLB opens draft with Black Lives Matter message
© Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Major League Baseball began its draft Wednesday night by honoring front-line workers who helped in the coronavirus pandemic and offering support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Commissioner Rob Manfred delivered the remarks before the picks were announced, saying "this moment is a call to action" while executives from all 30 MLB teams working remotely held signs that read: "Black Lives Matter. United For Change." 

"We share in the sadness and outrage that has resulted from the national tragedies that include the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others," Manfred said in front of a podium at MLB Network studios in New Jersey.


The commissioner added that the sport "can do more as an institution" to fight systemic racism and inequality, and several club owners announced donations to organizations fighting racial injustice.

Such organizations include the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Equal Justice Initiative, Color Of Change, Campaign Zero, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

For MLB fans, Wednesday's draft pick also symbolizes the beginning steps the league is taking to start the 2020 season after numerous sporting events were canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB will reportedly make another proposal to begin the season that was postponed due to the pandemic, according to The Associated Press. Manfred said Wednesday he would unilaterally order opening day if an agreement is not met with the league.

"I can tell you unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year," Manfred said, adding that the chance of playing this year is "100 percent."