Just hours after his team decided to cancel Thursday night's game vs. the Blue Jays to protest another police shooting, Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier retweeted a video mocking Doc Rivers' response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
After NBC Sports Boston on Friday morning asked why he had posted the video, Brasier deleted it from his timeline. He did not respond to requests for comment through the team. Early Friday afternoon, he retweeted a commemoration of Jackie Robinson Day.
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The Red Sox had decided not to play out of respect to Jackie Bradley Jr., the team's lone Black player. Manager Ron Roenicke said he was moved to tears by Bradley's thoughts on why "this is a really important time in our country, and what are we going to do?"
Around 9 p.m., however, three hours after the Red Sox and Blue Jays issued a joint statement decrying America's "continued police brutality and social inequity," Brasier retweeted a video from conservative commentators The Hodgetwins entitled, "Doc Rivers crying over Jacob Blake."
An emotional Rivers had choked up on Tuesday while discussing the latest case of police brutality after a white Wisconsin officer shot Blake seven times in the back in front of his children.
"It's amazing why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back," Rivers said.
The Hodgetwins video mocked Rivers as a puppet. "I feel like I'm watching a puppet show," one of the brothers said. "It looks like somebody's got you on some strings. Somebody's got to be pulling your strings. You can't be that naïve." The twins then recited common right-wing talking points about cops killing more white people than Black people annually.
That video was one in a flurry of retweets from Brasier, who also linked to a Donald Trump campaign video claiming the president had delivered on a promise to bring real change to our nation's cities, retweeted the president claiming that, "The Ten Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. are ALL run by Democrats, and this has gone on for DECADES!" and linked to multiple videos of UFC founder Dana White supporting Trump and decrying efforts to defund the police. Brasier left those tweets up, which he had posted during the Republican National Convention.
Manager Ron Roenicke said that Brasier apologized to both Bradley and first base coach Tom Goodwin.
"Ryan Brasier contacted me with a long text," Roenicke said. "We talked over the phone. He had already talked to Jackie. He had already talked to Goody. He explained he was watching on TV, watching the convention, he wasn't really thinking about the timing of anything, but just tweeted out some things. From him to me, there was no malice there about anything that was going on in anything that he said."
Until Thursday night, Brasier hadn't made any overtly political tweets or retweets since May, when he retweeted praise of Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott. Two weeks ago he did retweet an image of Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony wearing a "Peace" jersey with a caption of, "The love for the game never fades."
While Brasier is entitled to his beliefs, the timing certainly raised eyebrows, coming mere hours after the Red Sox had postponed their game out of solidarity to Bradley, and just a day after no teammates except backup catcher Kevin Plawecki had inquired about how he felt in the wake of growing player unrest across other sports.