Mookie Betts wears ‘We need more Black people at the stadium’ shirt at All-Star Game

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Mookie Betts wears ‘We need more Black people at the stadium’ shirt originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Mookie Betts will be at his home ballpark for Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, and he has a message in regard to the people filling up the seats.

The All-Star outfielder wore a shirt that said “We need more Black people at the stadium” when warming up for the Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium.

Just 7.2% of players on Opening Day rosters were Black, according to a study from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released in May. That number is a 0.4% dropoff from 2021 and the lowest number since TIDES began assessing the league in 1991.

Earlier this season, Major League Baseball commemorated the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier. As part of the celebration, members of the Players Alliance donated their gameday salaries on April 15 to help create new programs.

Betts also has a history of activism. He provided trays of food to Boston’s homeless community outside of the city’s public library during the 2018 World Series. In 2020, he took a knee during the national anthem on Opening Day. Later that season, he told his Dodgers teammates he would not play in a game against the San Francisco Giants in the wake of the shooting by police of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. His teammates followed suit and the game was one of several MLB contests to be postponed.

After sporting the shirt he did at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, Betts and the rest of the baseball world can hope to see him play in front of a more diverse crowd in the future.