Anthony Rizzo (left) expressed his full support for Jason Heyward (right) in his impassioned postgame remarks.
Anthony Rizzo (left) expressed his full support for Jason Heyward (right) in his impassioned postgame remarks.

Cubs News: Anthony Rizzo gives passionate postgame response regarding social injustice


by - Senior Writer -

DETROIT — Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward opted not to play in Wednesday's game between the Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers won the series finale at Comerica Park 7-6, but the postgame conversations between media members and members of the Cubs transcended baseball and centered upon the social issues that provoked Heyward to sit out.

Heyward, who is Black, chose not to play as a form of peaceful protest in the wake of the Kenosha shooting, like the NBA and other MLB teams and players also did on Wednesday. Cubs manager David Ross gave his full support to Heyward, who consulted with Ross pregame, and, in turn, Heyward encouraged his supportive teammates to play. As a result, Heyward was a late scratch from the starting lineup.

Postgame, Ross was tearful, saying that he "can't even imagine what he's going through" in regard to Heyward. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is a leader in the locker room, provided the heaviest postgame remarks when he wore his emotions on his sleeve while criticizing politicians and the political climate that stands in the way of change.

Rizzo also discussed Heyward and the support that he and his teammates have for the veteran outfielder, who is the sole African American in the Cubs' regular starting lineup. Describing seeing Heyward's pain as "so real," Rizzo said that Heyward "was encouraging [his teammates] to play."

Heyward also spoke with the media, revealing that he received multitudinous texts from supportive players from around MLB. When discussing his thought process behind sitting out Wednesday's game, Heyward said that it is "time for [MLB players] to stand up and be a part of the cause and not just sweep it under the rug."

Read the full quotes below:

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