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CEO Derrick Hall: D-backs are ‘supportive’ of athletes speaking out

General view of action between the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 06, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have yet to become part of a growing movement in sports to cancel games or have players sit out. That doesn’t mean the team wouldn’t support that if it came to fruition.

It started Wednesday in the NBA, when the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The boycotts — which were in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin — quickly spread to other sports, and even a few games in MLB were postponed on Wednesday night. Elsewhere, MLB players sat out while their teammates played on.

D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall acknowledged the purpose behind the boycotts Thursday when he joined Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf.

“It is unprecedented, but it’s all about opportunity,” Hall said. “And I think what our players are showing throughout the industry and all the sports is that they can use their voice, they can use their prominence and their celebrity to try and make an impact and a difference.

“We’ve always said we support players in times when they want to have protests or peaceful protests or in any way at least express themselves and make themselves available so that they can be a voice. And that’s what’s happening in a lot of these cases.”

Hall acknowledged there were a number of conversations behind had on Wednesday night, even though the D-backs and Rockies played their game as scheduled.

“There were quite a few,” Hall said. “When this went down, there were already seven or eight games going on at the time. When it did, as [manager] Torey [Lovullo] was addressing the media, it was really the focus on Milwaukee and obviously the tie with Wisconsin. As he said, and as we all feel, we understood that decision and stood by it. We support it.

“As far as our team, I know our players had several conversations. I know the Rockies had several conversations. I know that teams were talking amongst themselves. And this decision to shut down games, postpone games, cancel, forfeit — it really is, in my opinion, player-driven, or league driven. … I don’t think in a case like yesterday with a few hours before first pitch, it was situation where any of the organizations would necessarily take a front-office position.”

So, what if a Diamondbacks player or players wanted to protest?

“We would have obviously had a conversation and heard them out,” Hall said. “It’s one that Torey has been involved in as well. He’s had a lot of conversations with his players. We’re very supportive of them. And you really brought up a good point: If it’s one player, is that enough?

“We saw in several occasions last night, several teams had one or two players that said they weren’t going to play, yet said to the rest of his teammates, ‘Go ahead and play,’ and they said, ‘We stand by you, we’re going to play.’ In some cases, it may have been two or three players who said, ‘We’re not going to play,’ and the rest of the team said, ‘Well, we’re with you, we’re not going to play.’ I don’t fault either approach and I’m not sure where we would have landed in that.”

Doug & Wolf

D-backs Interviews and Segments