Red Sox

Kevin Pillar says ‘Black lives do matter to me’ after making controversial comments

"I will continue to speak up for not only what is right, but also in what I truly believe in, and that is equality for all."

Kevin Pillar rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run. Tommy Gilligan/AP Photo

Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar took time Saturday to clarify controversial comments he made when the team decided to postpone its game against the Blue Jays on Thursday to protest racial injustice.

After the Red Sox announced they wouldn’t play that night, Pillar told reporters that it isn’t more important “that we uplift Jackie (Bradley Jr.)” just because he’s the only Black player on the Red Sox and that “it’s important that we uplift everyone in this room.”

“It’s a touchy subject, but I don’t think right now, as a country, we should be necessarily identifying individual groups of people that need to be uplifted,” Pillar added. “I think the vast majority of us would like to encourage to uplift everyone and support everyone.”

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In a video posted to his Twitter account on Saturday, Pillar said he received “a lot of reactions” to what he said. While reading off his phone, Pillar voiced his support for Bradley Jr. and condemned police brutality against Black people.

“After having some time to reflect, I’d like to take this opportunity to better explain what I did a terrible job of expressing to the media the other day regarding our team’s decision to not play, not only to support Jackie and his decision but because of the reoccurring, senseless acts of police brutality of Black people in this country,” Pillar said. “I was speaking on behalf of my experiences, especially growing up around baseball and in sports in general. I don’t view the world as the world views it, and that’s ignorant of me.”

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Pillar said that Black lives do matter to him and that he’s sorry he hasn’t used his platform in the past to speak out about social injustice.

“My point I was trying to make is we have a responsibility as human beings to uplift each other, make each other better every single day. We as individuals need to take responsibility for what is going on across the country and make it stop by continuing to educate each other, love each other. Black lives do matter to me. Always have and always will.

“Lastly, I’m sorry for not using my opportunity, my platform to have spoken up about the injustices that we are seeing day in and day out across this country. For that, I am sorry, and I will continue to speak up for not only what is right, but also in what I truly believe in, and that is equality for all, making this country free of injustices, equal opportunities and accountability for our actions. One love. Thank you, guys.”

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