MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed MLB’s stance on social justice issues Thursday night, as well as giving an indirect response to Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s comments that were caught on a hot mic earlier in the day.
“Over the past few days, players on a number of Clubs have decided not to play games,” Manfred said in a statement. “I have said publicly and privately that I respect those decisions and support the need to address social justice.
“I have not attempted in any way to prevent players from expressing themselves by not playing, nor have I suggested any alternative form of protest to any Club personnel or player. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”
The last sentence in the statement is likely a response to Van Wagenen being unknowingly captured on video bashing Manfred’s leadership, while stating that the MLB commissioner suggested the players perform an orchestrated walkout before the first pitch, only to return to play an hour later.
Van Wagenen later apologized in a statement regarding the hot mic comments, saying he “misunderstood” and that the criticism of Manfred was “wrong and unfounded”. The GM also said the hour delay was Mets COO Jeff Wilpon’s suggestion, not Manfred’s.