Archie Bradley is comfortable saying “Black Lives Matter”

During the movie Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker was told that he had become a Sith, in part because he had lost middle ground. As a Sith you are either a friend or a foe, you are either all in or all out. 

We are seeing the same thing play out in real life with the Black Lives Matter movement. To those that oppose it: It’s ANTIFA, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, you don’t care about black babies or lives unless they’re killed by cops and yes of course you’re ready to defund everything.  

There’s no separation, but when it’s something we like, the separation becomes very easy. We are quick to give our countries founding fathers a pass when it comes to slavery and treat it as an ugly part of our past (one that we don’t talk about unless forced to), that we got over because no one owns slaves now and because 2% of our forty-five elected presidents have been black. So see, we are over all the systemic racism.

It’s been said over and over, we elected our current President, not because he’s squeaky clean, or says everything the right way, or has always been truthful but because we want results. We can separate his past from his actions and words. But when it comes to Black Lives Matter, it’s back to being a Sith. All in or nothing. 

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley, recently posted a picture of him wearing a Black Lives matter sweatshirt and the Twitterverse lost their shit. 

Of course he got the, “I’m never watching the Diamondbacks again” to the, “They all Marxist (The one thing that the average statement repeating sheep couldn’t explain for $100),” the “Baseball is turning into the NFL and NBA” and don’t forget the ever popular, “You just destroyed me and my family’s passion.”    

Fortunately for Archie Bradley, he does not appear to be a sheep. He has his own mind and supporting Black Lives Matter means something to him.  

“Everyone has a different take and different feelings. For me it’s just about expressing my feelings of supporting my black friends. You don’t have to agree with it.” In referring to the replies he received on twitter, “ You saw all the comments. (But) it’s about something I felt and something I want to talk about. 

It’s a very difficult subject but a relevant subject we had an opportunity with the ribbon (The unity ribbon that players held to show unity)… But for me it was a personal thing. I wasn’t asked or talked into by anyone. It was a feeling I had, it was my way showing I’m supporting this.”

Bradley isn’t blind and he knew there would be a certain level of scrutiny that he would receive, “A lot of controversy going on with Black Lives matter and what that supports and what that’s about. For me this wasn’t about a group, this wasn’t about a certain, really anything outside of me supporting the black community (and) my black friends and everything I’ve witnessed.

You have a platform that’s the biggest thing. Guys can be silent, guys don’t have to participate or be active. We have more eyes on us than we ever had in our entire lives.”

Archie Bradley is not confused about the way he feels and he’s putting it very openly and honestly, “There is a lot of confusion about that group, Black Lives Matter, maybe this is a very simple version and maybe I just view it very simply. I’m not with a group or with a saying.     I’m with what’s going on in this country and it’s about the actual black lives. 

It’s about the social injustice. It’s about the way some people are treated. It’s not about hating on cops or defunding or anything. For me, it’s a message about the black community being treated differently and it’s about adjusting that and creating social equality for everyone. And if I learned anything from that post, we have a long way to go as Country and as people to be accepting and be open and really allow the same treatment for everyone.”

An example of this is San Francisco Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod who didn’t kneel during the Black Lives Matters moment of unity, “I mean no ill will by it. I don’t think I’m better than anybody. I’m just a Christian. I believe I can’t kneel before anything but God,” Coonrod said. 

For that, Coonrod should not be ridiculed or chastised. Those are his beliefs and he has a right to them. 

San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler, who knelt, said, “The one thing we said is, we’re going to let people express themselves. We’re going to give them the choice whether they stand, kneel or do something else. That is a personal decision for Sam (Coonrod).” 

Bradley on the other hand had a different feeling, “I always had the voice inside me. through maturity and growing up and people want to compare your performance with the way you speak and the way you do things. I got away from being afraid to be a reliever or a closer and make a comment or make a post and have to worry about blowing a game or answering to pitching bad when those two things don’t correlate at all. 

There’s a time and a place for everything. The time and place for this change and for us to come together and support each other and support our black brothers.”

Archie Bradley understood it would not be easy and said he’s had to have very difficult conversations with many people, some being his friends, “I’ve been put in those situations. The last couple of days I’ve had to not explain myself but explain why I’m doing this and why I think it is right and why I’m doing this.” He continues “It really opened my mind to what’s going on and in my opinion the way people need to shift their opinions on things.”   

With sports being on hiatus for so long, and this Country witnessing a pandemic that has taken the lives of over 145,000 people to date,  the senseless open killing of George Floyd and the killing of Breonna Taylor, the platform to speak up for social justice will probably never be greater.

Bradley said, “My voice and my opinion on certain things have nothing to do with my performance. So being able to seperate those two has allowed me to speak freely.

I want to continue, there’s an avenue for me somewhere for me being a voice and continue to help promote a better life and a better game. I love baseball and I want to continue to be the greatest sport ever.” 

Photo Courtesy: Archie Bradly Twitter

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