Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks sat out against the Blue Jays on Monday night in response to the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.
Hicks was originally penciled in to start for New York prior to its matchup against the Blue Jays. But after a conversation with manager Aaron Boone, Hicks opted to sit out the AL East matchup.
“With all that’s going on in Minneapolis, he’s having a tough time right now,” Boone said on Monday, per ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “Had a conversation in my office and he just felt like it was best to not be in the starting lineup tonight. And I certainly support that and we’ll and try to rally around him the best we can.”
“Obviously, the situation is heartbreaking right now in Minneapolis. And I think it has hit Aaron particularly hard.”
Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Sunday. Footage of the incident shows three police officers surrounding Wright’s car, with one officer repeatedly threatening Wright with a Taser. As Wright returned to his car, a shot was fired from the officer’s handgun.
The incident was described as an “accidental discharge” by Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
The Timberwolves, Twins and Wild all postponed their respective games on Monday. Wright’s death drew condemnation across the sports world, including from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.
Hicks, 31, played his first three MLB seasons with the Twins before being traded to the Yankees in 2015. Fellow Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton also considered not playing on Monday, though he ultimately appeared in New York’s lineup. Stanton and Hicks were also the only two Yankees players who knelt during the national anthem last season in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.