Sunday was the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

The Staten Island Yankees, the Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, held a “Blue Lives Matter Day” as well, a movement reportedly launched over a year ago to “help law enforcement officers and their families during their time of need.”


The game itself is not a problem, but in a letter to Staten Island Yankees senior director of marketing Michael Holley, a reader of TheRoot.com bashed the Yankees for the insensitive move.

On the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, this is what the SI Yankees organization chooses to do? This is beyond poor judgement. Did it occur to anyone at the SI Yankees how alienating this is to fans who have been deeply affected by the events that spurred the “Black Lives Matter” movement, including those right here in Staten Island?

Holley responded by apologizing for the political stance the Yankees took by hosting Blue Lives Matter, offering this statement.

We put a lot of thought into whether or not to hold this promotion when Blue Lives Matter originally approached us. We try our best to accurately represent the interests of our community, and this issue is so divisive that it seemed like people wanted us to draw a line in the sand. But the more we thought about it, it came to down to this: Blue Lives Matter is an organization that supports the families of those who have been killed in action. I can’t pretend for a minute to understand who is right and who is wrong when something like that happens, but I DO know that families should NOT have to suffer. 

And for that reason, anyone who wants our help in raising resources to help those in need in our community will always have our ear.

I’m comfortable with the decision to support an organization that helps those in need, and I will continue to seek opportunities for the Staten Island Yankees to do so in the future.

Holley also said he’d be thrilled to take part in a promotion for all sides, without specifically naming "Black Lives Matter."

By Glenn Erby

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