President Donald Trump will throw out the first pitch prior to a New York Yankees home game next month, the president announced Thursday.
Following his announcement, Trump briefly discussed his opinion on athletes kneeling during the national anthem while discussing the MLB season and his upcoming first pitch with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The president told Hannity he would like to see players stand and honor their country’s flag.
“It’s great that baseball is back, and other sports are back. I hope everyone’s standing. I hope they’re not going to be kneeling when the flag is raised,” Trump said.
“I don’t like to see that. That would hurt a lot of people in our country. They don’t want to see that with the NFL, or baseball, or basketball, or anything else,” he added.
“There are plenty of places you can protest. You don’t have to protest on the raising of our flag.”
“Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees,” Trump told reporters, referring to the Yankees team president. “He asked me to throw out the first pitch.”
Both teams set to take the diamond when Trump will throw out the first pitch next month have signaled this week that they are aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Thursday, just prior to the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” every player on both the Yankees and the 2019 World Series-winning Washington Nationals took a knee, though they all stood for the anthem itself.
The players also clutched a black ribbon while watching a Players Alliance Black Lives Matter video:
Nationals and Yankees take a knee for about 20 seconds before anthem. pic.twitter.com/rLaauXGzTj
— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) July 23, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, threw out the first pitch prior to that matchup, which was the first regular season game of the year.
The pitch, which was wide left and failed to reach the dirt surrounding the batter’s box, quickly went viral online:
Just a bit outside!!! pic.twitter.com/pf7hA99z3n
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 24, 2020
The Red Sox, the team the Yankees will face on Aug 15., also supported the Black Lives Matter movement this week.
The baseball club hung a 254-foot “Black Lives Matter” banner outside of Fenway Park, NBC Sports reported.
Photos of the banner went viral on social media:
The Red Sox have put up a Black Lives Matter billboard next to Fenway Park.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 22, 2020
MassLive reported that while no Red Sox players have announced an intention to kneel, manager Ron Roenicke said the team will support any player who chooses to do so.
“This organization is OK with it,” he said. “If they want to take a knee, they can take a knee. I don’t know that anybody’s going to do that, but if they want to, we support them in whatever they want to do.”
Trump signaled on Tuesday that if he sees a player kneel, he will refrain from watching sports.
Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020
“Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!” Trump tweeted.
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