Sarasota’s Ian Desmond opts out of MLB season in wide-ranging social media post

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Jason Dill
·2 min read
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Ian Desmond is one of four baseball players opting out of the 2020 MLB season, announcing his decision late Monday on Instagram.

In his social media post, Desmond, who plays for the Colorado Rockies, didn’t just explain why the global “COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking.”

Desmond, who played at Sarasota High touched on various other subjects in his detailed post, where he said “the image of officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd, the gruesome murder of a Black man in the street at the hands of a police officer, broke my coping mechanism. Suppressing my emotions became impossible.”

His post included his experiences as a biracial man, MLB’s racial disparity as well as racist, sexist and homophobic locker room jokes, baseball’s cheating scandals and labor wars.

Desmond, who began his MLB career with the Washington Nationals in 2009, told the story of a Black youth named Antwuan whom he met at a Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington D.C.

Desmond also reflected on the Little League baseball fields he played on that now “look run down. Neglected.”

The fields at the 12th Street Complex are home to the Cal Ripken Youth Baseball League, before Little League Baseball’s affiliation ended there.

Desmond, who also previously played for the Texas Rangers in his MLB career, closed his lengthy post with his decision to opt out of the 2020 season.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond wrote. “But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving baseball behind for the year. I’ll be right here, at my old Little League, and I’m working with everyone involved to make sure we get Sarasota Youth Baseball back on track. It’s what I can do, in the scheme of so much. So, I am.”

“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now. Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.”

The full post can be read below:

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