Jackie Bradley Jr. kicked off his 2020 season in style.
The Red Sox centerfielder came out of the gates going 3-for-4 in the Red Sox' 13-2 rout of the Orioles Friday night, managing a pair of doubles, three runs and two RBIs.
But his best performance was saved for after the game.
Much like when he was asked about social issues upon returning for Spring Training 2.0, Bradley Jr. knew the questions were coming. And just as was the case when he offered answers a few weeks back, his responses to questions about why he chose to kneel during the National Anthem were right on point.
What were you thinking about when you knelt?
“I think about a lot of different things. I think about struggle, a lot of pain that a lot of people have been through and I just think about the next generation behind me as well. We want things to be better and we want more love. It felt good. It felt like a release to be able to do that.”
When did you decide to kneel?
“It hasn’t been anything that’s been weighing on me to not necessarily do it ahead of time or anything like that. I felt like it was important for me to be able to do it and I also thought it was important that I informed no only Ron, Chaim, Sam Kennedy, my teammates. I wanted everybody to know my intentions, that way no one was caught off guard and that’s pretty much how I went about it.”
Did seeing players kneel Thursday night influence your decision?
“No. I don’t easily become influenced by other things. I like to do things because that’s what I feel and that’s kind of how I’ve always been and I just try to live the best life I can live.”
On seeing how the Orioles approached the pregame ceremony
“Honestly, I didn’t look across. I was focused on looking straightforward, kind of in my own thoughts and just trying to gather myself. I wasn’t really paying attention to who was around. I just wanted to kind of be to myself at that moment.”
Thoughts on Mookie Betts kneeling
"I support him. I support him. That’s his right, to be able to express that, to be able to express himself. There’s a lot of opinions about it, positive ones, negative ones, indifferent ones and I respect every single one of those opinions. You’re allowed to feel and say what you must but you also have to give that respect as well, even when you might not agree. Once people are able to do that and I think people can be able to communicate a little bit better instead of not only just voicing their frustrations out of anger but you know, maybe having a little bit of understanding as well."