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Epstein on baseball’s role in Black Lives Matter movement

3 weeks agoKarli Bell

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein joined Cole Wright on Cubs 360 Daily and delved into further detail about his comments on Monday on the Black Lives Matter movement and recent protests regarding the death of George Floyd.

“It starts with listening and understanding that we can’t necessarily walk in someone else’s shoes, but we can listen,” Epstein said. “We can try to understand and learn more. We can empathize. The next step after listening is to look inward and to take a hard look at your own attitudes, assumptions and your own decision-making and see what kind of unconscious biases might be present in yourself.”

Epstein delved even further into MLB’s system and practices that are currently in place. 

“If you look at our own hiring practices with two African American managers, two African American general managers, we’re down just under 8-percent of all major league players are African Americans. Obviously, it’s a self-perpetuating system. So, we have to look inside.

“There’s something in the system that’s preventing African Americans from having full access to either the player pipeline or front offices with the hiring practices…or into ownership circles. That’s why this is important for us all to try and dig behind the curtain, look inside and hold ourselves accountable,” Epstein said.

With accountability comes change, and that requires people within the front offices and beyond to challenge themselves to break their old norms.

“There’s a natural instinct to fall back on something familiar,” Epstein said. “Then, you end up hiring people with similar backgrounds or people who end up looking like you, acting like you, coming from the same perspective, and that’s not healthy. It’s not effective…We have to challenge ourselves to break out of our comfort zones.”

Epstein does see hope and change coming soon, especially from the youth.

“This next generation is really, pretty colorblind. They’ve got it figured out. It’s really uplifting and encouraging. It’s really on us to hold ourselves accountable and fix this thing once and for all or get out of the way,” Epstein said.

Catch Cubs 360 Daily, presented by Miller Lite weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on Marquee Sports Network.

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