Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward and Jason Kipnis are taking the lead
Cubs players Jason Heyward and Jason Kipnis are working toward change.
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a lot of Americans have found themselves looking at race in a new light. Cubs players Jason Heyward and Jason Kipnis are looking to be part of the solution in the city of Chicago – meeting with members of the police department and local youth over the weekend.
The event, which featured several other Chicago athletes including Allen Robinson and Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears and Jonathan Toews and Malcolm Subban of the Blackhawks, among others – allowed teens to speak directly to police officers in small groups, voicing concerns alongside the athletes.
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"“I wanted to just open my eyes to what’s been going on,” Kipnis told MLB.com. “I can go down Twitter rabbit holes and turn on the news and not get the full picture. … I’m talking to kids who are wiser beyond their years, because they’ve been forced to grow up faster than I did.”"
Kipnis is yet to play a regular season game for the team he grew up rooting for – but he’s already showing why the front office viewed him as an important piece to the puzzle heading into 2020. He’s long been considered one of the best leaders in the game – a fact Cubs fans saw firsthand during the 2016 World Series.
Late last week, social media platforms – namely Instagram – were blacked out, with individuals, groups and organizations posting a blacked out square in support of protests and demonstrations pushing for equal rights in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. That support hasn’t gone unnoticed – but is just the first step in seeing real change come to fruition.
"“Everyone has different views and different concerns,” Heyward said. “Every ethnicity, race, gender, all these things, people have their own struggles, man. But, I think at the end of the day, right now, we’re seeing a lot of conversation about this that we’ve seen before, but I think it’s being spread a little faster through social media.”"
Like Kipnis, who acknowledged the privilege he’s enjoyed as a white male in the world today, I have no idea what it’s like to be faced with discrimination. I won’t pretend to. I can’t sit back and say how I’d react personally or judge others on how they’ve handled the latest tragedy because I have no right.
What I can say is for all the flak Heyward has caught during his time with the Cubs, there are few better human beings in the game today – and we should all be thankful we have such a tremendous leader, in every regard, both on and off the field.