Colorado Rockies Star Ian Desmond Opts Out of 2020 Season Due to COVID-19 Concerns
MLB star Ian Desmond announced that he will not be playing in the 2020 season. The Colorado Rockies outfielder made the announcement at the end of a lengthy Instagram post he shared recently. He cites concerns over the coronavirus pandemic as his reason for withdrawing.
The 34-year-old player also addressed racism in MLB and the racial disparities not only between players but also among GM’s, team managers, and owners.
Ian Desmond wrote that he’s uncomfortable taking the “risk” of playing this season.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond explained.
“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,” the athlete wrote. “Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.”
“We’ve got rampant individualism on the field.”
In the very long nine-slide post, Desmond, who is biracial, also commented on issues of racism in the MLB, as well as homophobia, sexism, and cheating scandals.
“Think about it: right now baseball we’ve got a labor war,” he wrote. “We’ve got rampant individualism on the field. In the clubhouses, we’ve got racist, sexist, homophobic jokes or flat-out problems. We’ve got cheating. We’ve got a minority issue from the top down. One African American GM. Two African American managers. Less than 8% Black players. No Black majority team owners.”
“America’s pastime is failing to do what it could, just like the country it entertains,” Desmond explained.
The Sarasota native prescribes giving opportunities to underprivileged communities.
Desmond grew up in Sarasota, Florida before making his major league debut in 2009. He’s advocated for giving opportunities to youth baseball players from “underprivileged communities.”
“Why aren’t accessible, affordable youth sports viewed as an essential opportunity to affect kids’ development, as opposed to money-making propositions and recruiting chances?” Desmond asked. “It’s hard to wrap your head around it.”
Desmond will be staying busy and vowed to get the Sarasota Youth Baseball program back on track.
After taking the season off, he vowed to get the Sarasota Youth Baseball back on the right track.
“It’s what I can do, in the scheme of so much,” he explained his plan. “So, I am.”
Desmond, a two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger, was about to enter his 12th season in the major leagues and his fourth with the Rockies.
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He is just one the latest MLB stars to opt-out of the upcoming abbreviated season, following Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross.
The 60-game 2020 MLB season is expected to begin later this month and end in September, while the postseason will end by October.
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