Aaron Hicks
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New York Yankees centerfielder Aaron Hicks is sitting out Monday’s game to protest Daunte Wright’s shooting in Minnesota. Giancarlo Stanton may also not play on Monday.

New York Yankees centerfielder Aaron Hicks is sitting out Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hicks’ decision is in protest of the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced the move during his pregame media session, and also indicated Giancarlo Stanton might not play either.

Brendan Kuty of NJ.com was first with Boone’s announcement.

Hicks has gotten off to a slow start in 2021, batting just .129 with an uncharacteristically high K% of 30.6. Mike Tauchman will now start in centerfield on Monday.


JB’s Take

This is not at all a surprising decision from Aaron Hicks, nor Giancarlo Stanton. As Lindsey Adler of The Athletic pointed out, the two along with hitting coach Marcus Thames led “clubhouse discussions about racial inequality and police brutality” in 2020.

Now, another young Black man has been murdered at the hands of the police, even if it was accidental. Daunte Wright was just 20 years old and was killed after being pulled over when an officer reached for her gun instead of a Taser. His name is another in the long, awful tragedy that is police brutality.

Aaron Hicks also has every right to feel emotional about this. Not only is he one of a shrinking number of Black players in MLB, but he has deep ties to Minnesota. He was a first-round pick by the Twins in 2008 and spent the first three years of his pro career with them.

Giancarlo Stanton, meanwhile, has made no secret about being very passionate about racial justice. If he too decides to sit out Monday’s game, that is his decision and his alone.

It’s one game in April. The New York Yankees will survive without them for a night.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.