The Red Sox have not always shown support for civil rights. Boston was the last MLB franchise to integrate, per Sports Illustrated—in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Just last month, the Red Sox apologized for racist attacks in Fenway Park against Black players on other teams, the Boston Globe reports. "You need to pull together and talk about these issues," the team president said at the time. "That's how we’re going to do better." The Red Sox took another step this week, installing a 254-foot "Black Lives Matter" mural on the outside of the park, visible to those driving by Fenway on a highway. "Recognizing that we have work to do ourselves, we wanted to show that we stand with those who are working to achieve racial equity," a Red Sox spokeswoman said.
The organization plans "to amplify the voices of those who share our values, but may not share our platform" throughout the season. Baseball is making provisions for all teams and players to show their support, per ESPN. Players can choose a "Black Lives Matter" or "United for Change" patch for their jersey on opening day. For opening weekend, home teams can add "United for Change" or an inverted MLB logo with "BLM" on the pitcher's mound. For the season, players can put messages of social justice or other causes on their spikes, which had been against the rules. Jack Flaherty, the starting pitcher in St. Louis on Friday, said the Cardinals have something planned for the pregame ceremony—"just to try to bring some unity to everybody and bring everybody together," he said, per KSDK. "There were things that we wanted to do." (Read more MLB stories.)