The anniversary of Michael Brown’s death prompted marches and continued outcry about police brutality in Ferguson, Mo. Sunday, but the Staten Island Yankees used the day to push their own polarizing campaign called “Blue Lives Matter.”
The minor league team is a Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The group shows support to the families of police officers during their time of need, but the presence of a “Blue Lives Matter” agenda on the day Brown was shot a year ago left many questioning their true intention.
The charity was launched a year ago, the same time the “Black Lives Matter” movement began to spread beyond social media, Think Progress reports. On Sunday, wristbands were passed out and the families of Detective Wenjian Liu and Detective Rafael Ramos threw out the first pitch of the game. Liu and Ramos were killed in December of last year in Brooklyn.
After many took to social media to point out the event’s disrespectful nature in light of the tragedy in Ferguson, Yankees executive Michael Holley responded to naysayers through email. Holley said a lot of thought went into the event, which was announced in March. While he didn’t explain why the event wasn’t held in December (the anniversary of the officer’s deaths) he did elaborate on why the Staten Island community was in support.
“We put a lot of thought into whether or not to hold this promotion when Blue Lives Matter originally approached us, the message reads.”We try our best to accurately represent the interests of our community, and this issue is so divisive that it seemed like people wanted us to draw a line in the sand. But the more we thought about it, it came to down to this: Blue Lives Matter is an organization that supports the families of those who have been killed in action.
It’s important for us to be a platform for support in St. George and on Staten Island in general, and I hope that everyone can look to something like this as an example of what we can do to help everyone. I would thrilled, for example, if someone approached us about a fundraiser to support the fallen on all sides of any conflict.”
Former fans plan to boycott the Staten Island Yankees. Meanwhile, the Blue Lives Matter group on Facebook posted images and videos of the shooting that happened in Ferguson last night, but ignored the peaceful protests that occurred throughout the rest of the weekend.
SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty