Aaron Hicks approached manager Aaron Boone on Monday afternoon, and told him that he didn’t want to play on Monday night in the New York Yankees’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hicks, who was set to bat sixth in the lineup in Florida, made the decision to sit out in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota on Sunday.
“I would say that Aaron is hurting in a huge way,” Boone said, via SNY. “I think in a way felt like it was probably the responsible thing to take himself out and knowing that it was going to be hard for him to be all in mentally in what’s a high-stake, difficult job to go out there and perform for the New York Yankees.”
Boone also said that right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is also debating about whether to play in Monday’s game.
"Things that go on in society and in our culture spill over into athletics and these guys, rightfully so, have gained more and more of a platform to be able to express themselves," Boone said, via ESPN. "And I certainly support their right to do that.”
Police: Officer accidentally used gun
Wright, a Black man, was pulled over for a what police said was a traffic violation on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis.
Police said they tried to detain him after discovering he had a warrant for his arrest, according to The New York Times. Wright then stepped back into his car, and an officer shot him. The officer, Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon said Monday, shot Wright accidentally instead of using her taser.
Wright drove several blocks after being shot, and later died after crashing his vehicle. He was 20.
The shooting comes at a tense time in the Twin Cities area, as former police officer Derek Chauvin is currently on trial facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd last summer.
The Minnesota Twins, Timberwolves and Wild all postponed their respective games in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Monday night in the wake of the shooting. Plenty in the sports world took to social media to voice their anger over Wright’s death, too.
Hicks, who is in his sixth season with the Yankees, was drafted by the Twins with the No. 14 overall pick in 2008 and spent his first three seasons in Major League Baseball in Minnesota.
Though the Yankees may miss him Monday night, Boone said he wasn’t bothered by Hicks’ decision.
“I don’t really even give two thoughts to that,” Boone said, via SNY. “My consideration is with Aaron and his well-being and making sure as best we can we support him and try to be there as best we can for him right now. This is something in the immediate that’s real emotion that he’s feeling, and right now I’m going to support that.”
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