It was expected that several players from the Yankees and Nationals would take a knee during or prior to the national anthem on Opening Day. Though, it wasn’t widely expected that every player and coach from both teams would do it.
All players and coaches on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee before the national anthem tonight
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 23, 2020
The players knelt in protest in front of an empty stadium. MLB has closed their stadiums to fans during their abbreviated season due to the coronavirus.
After the death of George Floyd and the ensuing civil unrest that has swept through the country since late May, MLB has become more vocal on social justice issue. The league’s social media accounts have tweeted dozens of Black Lives Matter messages. In addition, MLB has stenciled Black Lives Matter on the pitchers mounds in all ballparks during their opening weekend.
Earlier in the week, players and coaches from the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds knelt in protest.