Pirates Join Steelers In Social Justice Support

Derek Shelton and coaches before anthem
Photo credit John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
By 93.7 The Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) –Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t the only Pittsburgh sports leader who says he will be behind his players when it comes to social justice issues.

“I thought Coach Tomlin’s comments were spot on,” said Pirates first-year manager Derek Shelton.  “I think he probably said it as well as you probably could say it in terms of being thoughtful and classy.  The only place where I would even go farther is to making sure we are purposeful with what our thoughts and that we are educated.”

Shelton said Wednesday they had numerous talks among the players and baseball operations staff about social change.  He said they need to continue to educate themselves.

“We will definitely 100% support our players in the decisions they make,” Shelton said.  “They will have my support and our support going forward with the decisions they make.”

The organization to field the first all-black starting lineup in baseball back in 1971, the Pirates claim they support their current minority players, most popular of which is All-Star Josh Bell.

Bell told MLB Network Radio earlier in June, “you know, it’s tough.  But it’s awesome to see that people of all color are feeling the same way, people of all color are feeling that injustice is real here in the States.”

“I’m just hoping that this time next year, this time four or five years from now, things will have changed so that things like this don’t happen,” Bell added.  “It’s can’t be swept under the rug.  It doesn’t need a video camera somewhere.  It’s time for that change, so I’m hoping that it comes now.”

“We have to continue to learn,” Shelton said on Wednesday.  “We have to continue to educate.  We have to have to be part of making sure this situation that we are in in the world is getting better going forward.  I’m really proud of our group.”

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