The Washington Nationals joined the trend of major companies issuing a social-awareness statement in light of the protests around the death of George Floyd. But now, the defending World Series champions are facing criticism on social media for not going far enough in their condemnation of racism.
After the Nationals circulated the release late Tuesday, fans took the team to task for the wording used in the 262-word statement. The Nationals did not directly address racism, police misconduct and even the protests related to Floyd’s death.
In the statement, the Nationals call for “unity and solidarity” and pointed to their youth baseball academy and charitable work as ways the organization tries to “teach our children the virtues of respect and treating others with decency, humility and kindness.”
The Nationals issued the statement on the behalf of the Washington Nationals Founding Partners Group, the team’s six minority owners of color.
In it, the Nationals said their World Series victory last fall was a “living example of cultural diversity blending” together.
“On behalf of the Founding Partners Group and our families, we wish for everyone’s safety in the DC Metropolitan community, our nation and beyond,” the Nationals said. “We encourage our fellow citizens to lead by example and commit to playing a meaningful role in shaping a vision and future for our youth, regardless of their race, that unifies and celebrates all of us.”
The statement left critics unsatisfied, with one fan suggesting to just “copy and paste” what the Wizards issued. On Sunday, the Wizards said they would “no longer tolerate the assassination of people of color in this country” and called out the “abuse of power” from law enforcement.
This is the latest backlash the Nationals have received in recent months. Earlier this week, Washington backtracked on a plan to reduce stipends to minor leaguers after social media scrutiny and Nationals vowed to cover the difference. In the fall, catcher Kurt Suzuki also drew criticism for donning a “Make America Great Again” hat and hugging President Trump during the team’s visit to the White House.
Here’s a sample of other reactions:
Jeez guys try harder. This is such a bunch of bland BS. Don’t tell us how much you think you’ve done since 2007 and how great the World Series was. We know that but THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.— Brian Reitz (@flipperman75) June 3, 2020
Try again next time and actually say something rather than trying to please everybody.— Brian McEntire (@sweetnessmac) June 3, 2020
that’s a whole lot of words to not say the most important ones— steve (@sschreiber13) June 3, 2020
Guys. Just copy/paste what the Wizards did. Job done. Saved your interns a lot of time.— The Natidude (@TheNatidude) June 3, 2020
Wow, fail. On every level. 4 paragraphs of a trash. pic.twitter.com/C4XRHQUsbv— Thewholefnshow (@TheWholeFnSh0w) June 3, 2020
You really found a way to make this about yourselves and what you do and have accomplished??— Master Shake (@cowgirl_bebop) June 3, 2020
Delete this and begin again.
This is the statement you put out? Where’s the support for the Floyd family? Where are you condemning actions of racism? Where are you asking for change? Perhaps copy and paste what some of the other DC teams with championships put out— Mark O (@MarkDC) June 3, 2020
Did Kurt Suzuki write this— Jeff Krisko (@JeffKrisko) June 3, 2020
This is so brutally bad. It lacks awareness of the actual issues at play and self-awareness in its congratulatory “let me pat myself on the back.”— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) June 3, 2020
Hearts being in the right place doesn’t effect change if you don’t know what to put your energy towards.
Want to do good? Do more. https://t.co/8BHM8JIlbv
Here we go again with the notion that a World Series title provided racial harmony…Please read the room. https://t.co/dfsR6Laq9G— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) June 3, 2020
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