- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays fans who stopped by the team’s Twitter page expecting opening day baseball news were stunned to get a dose of racial politics instead.

“Today is Opening Day, which means it’s a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor,” the Major League Baseball team proclaimed Friday, a reference to the 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was killed during the service of a “no-knock” arrest warrant in March.

The Louisville, Kentucky, killing returned to the national spotlight after the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest.

Racial equality protests, looting, and riots tied to the Black Lives Matter movement and Antifa have been sustained for two months since the incident.

Some feedback by baseball fans on Twitter, who have been starved for the sport due to the coronavirus pandemic, include the following:

  • “I remember when baseball teams cared about baseball.”
  • “No longer a fan. Won’t be watching. This country needs to get its priorities in the right order.”
  • “Keep politics out of this. I wake up excited for opening day… is this seriously for real!?”
  • “I am looking for a team that will make it a great day to protect the lives of the unborn. Can you do that tomorrow?”
  • “Whoever is responsible for sending this tweet should be fired! A great day to unite everyone around the community and team but [the] Rays decide to create divisiveness instead. Very Disappointed.”
  • “Play baseball. It is a complicated case and it is surprising that a baseball operation would comment on it.”

Supporters of the tweet framed critics as “racist,” although others said that talking politics should be permitted since politicians often take part in opening game ceremonies.

Police maintain that Ms. Taylor was shot eight times because she was caught in crossfire initiated by her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Mr. Walker contends he fired his gun in self defense, saying police did not identity themselves before bursting through the apartment door.

Charges of attempted murder and assault against Mr. Walker were ultimately dropped.

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