New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks elected to sit out of tonight’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the wake of the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis on Sunday night.
Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, died on Sunday after he was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Speaking with reporters before tonight’s game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone explained that Hicks was having a “tough time” following the shooting and that the two had a candid conversation about him sitting out tonight.
“With all that’s going on in Minneapolis, he’s having a tough time right now,” Boone said. “Had a conversation in my office and he just felt like it was best to not be in the starting lineup tonight. And I certainly support that and we’ll and try to rally around him the best we can. Obviously, the situation is heartbreaking right now in Minneapolis. And I think it has hit Aaron particularly hard.”
Aaron Boone talks about his message to those criticizing Aaron Hicks' decision to sit out tonight's game following the police shooting in Minneapolis:
"Aaron's hurting in a huge way" pic.twitter.com/NueSJ632vP
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) April 12, 2021
Hicks, 31, has deep ties to Minnesota after being drafted by the Twins in 2008. He spent much of his early career in the organization’s farm system before making his debut during the 2013 season.
Hicks isn’t the only member of Major League Baseball and the sports world that was deeply affected by the shooting. The Twins decided to postpone Monday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, joining the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Wild in calling off their scheduled games.
“I would say that Aaron’s hurting in a huge way, and in a way felt it was probably the responsible thing to take himself out in knowing that it was going to be hard for him to be all in mentally in what’s a high-stakes, difficult job to go out there and perform for the New York Yankees,” Boone said. “Things that go on in society and in our culture spills over into athletics and these guys, rightfully so, have gained more and more of a platform to be able to express themselves. And I certainly support their right to do that.”