By Robert Martin
Special to MLBbro.com
Baseball has long been considered America’s pastime. But the popularity of the sport doesn’t extend to all audiences across the country.
Unfortunately, in our Black and brown communities, the participation numbers are considerably low, both on and off the field. Many Major League Baseball players, who are aware of the gaps in representation, are working to increase the number of Blacks involved in the sport.
One of those players is Los Angeles Dodgers superstar outfielder Mookie Betts. Betts has talked openly about wanting to see more diversity in baseball, not just players but also fans.
For some, baseball has been considered a “white man’s game” for many years. Betts is determined to make things change.determined to make things change.
Mookie Betts Wants To Pioneer Black Baseball Movement
MLBbro.com’s Nick Hamilton spoke with Betts about the future of young Black athletes, their involvement with the sport of baseball, and the changes he would love to enforce in the game.
“The goal I set out to accomplish is getting blacks in baseball, not necessarily on the field, but just around the field and maybe in the front office.” According to ESPN, there are only 29 people of color, which makes up only 30 percent of the total professional staff in the MLB.
In 2020, Betts won his first World Series ring and represented the Black community as the only MLBbro in the entire World Series.
The following year, on Jackie Robinson Day, Betts donated his game-day check to the Players Association, which he and many other players are a part of, to support increasing opportunities.
“I have a whole team of people that are trying to accomplish this goal,” Betts said. “Not only just getting in baseball, but just being successful in life and that’s the number one thing – just get everybody off the streets and give everybody an opportunity to be successful.””
At the 2022 MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles, Betts wore a T-shirt during batting practice reading “We need more Black people at the stadium.”
It told you where Betts’ head is on this issue at hand.
“Just look at basketball and football……,” he said. “What’s not in baseball is culture, so I am trying to do my part and bring that to baseball.”
Betts is all for creating changes and giving back, and he demonstrates this by making a positive impact off the field, and by being a dynamic player on the field for the Dodgers.
“All of us have talents and it’s important for us to find it,” he said. “I found mine in baseball and I just want to use my platform to help others find theirs.”