DUNEDIN, Fla. — After a black man was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks decided he couldn’t play Monday night against the Blue Jays. Yankees manager Aaron
DUNEDIN, Fla. — After a black man was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks decided he couldn’t play Monday night against the Blue Jays.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Hicks came to him Monday afternoon in the wake of the news that Daunte Wright, 20, was shot by an officer during a traffic stop on Sunday and told him he was struggling with the events.
“It’s just been a hard day for him, understandably, emotional,” Boone said before the Yankees opened their series against Toronto at TD Ballpark. “He felt like he would have a hard time going out there tonight. All I can do is try the best I can to offer support. I understand how he’s feeling.”
Boone added that he also talked to Giancarlo Stanton, who was outspoken during last summer’s racial unrest, and the DH was also considering not playing as of Monday afternoon.
“It’s life,” Boone said of Hicks’ decision. “This is our livelihood. It’s really important to us, but the people we come in contact with each and every day and work with closely and share so much with, essentially, are like family. We all have families. Life happens. There’s great times, good times, great days [and] tragic things that come up that affect so many people in so many different ways. You try to live life the best way you can and sometimes that means loving and supporting someone through something. But I would say, all in all, it’s a part of life.”
Not surprisingly, Boone — who has two adopted children who are black — wasn’t interested in the reaction of some fans that were critical of Hicks’ opting to sit out.
“I would say Aaron’s hurting in a huge way, in a way that he felt like it was probably the responsible thing to take himself out, knowing it was gonna be hard for him to be all-in mentally in what’s a high-stake, difficult job, to go out there and perform for the New York Yankees,” Boone said. “I don’t really even give two thoughts to them. My concern is with Aaron and his well-being. This is something in the immediate. It’s real emotion he’s feeling.”
Hicks was drafted by the Twins and played the first three years of his major league career in Minnesota before he was traded to the Yankees.
“He’s having a tough time right now,” Boone said. “He just felt it was best not to be in the starting lineup. I certainly support that. We’ll try and rally around him as best we can. The situation is heartbreaking in Minneapolis. It’s hit Aaron particularly hard.”
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin