The Boston Red Sox on Wednesday unveiled its display of a 250-foot Black Lives Matter billboard adjacent to Fenway Park, marking the 61st anniversary of Elijah “Pumpsie” Green’s first game as the team’s first Black player.
The billboard facing Massachusetts Turnpike behind the iconic stadium comes as major professional sports across the country continue to pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement nearly two months after the police killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests.
The unveiling also comes as the Major League Baseball season is set to begin Thursday night.
Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy has been outspoken on the issue of social injustice since the mass protests swept the country.
“Please know we stand with you,” Kennedy wrote in a statement on the team’s website under the title “Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion.”
“Silence in the face of injustice is unacceptable,” he added.
The Red Sox were the last team to integrate a Black player onto its roster with the addition of Green in 1961.
In exhibition games this week, players from the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds took a knee during the playing of the national anthem, with Giants manager Gabe Kapler becoming the first manager or head coach in any of the major sports leagues to also take a knee.
The MLB season kicks off Thursday night when the New York Yankees travel to Washington to take on the World Series-champion Nationals.