Dunedin, Fla. – After sitting out of the Yankees’ game on Sunday after reports of police killing Dunn Wright in a suburb of Minneapolis, Aaron Hicks said that “I felt like playing this game was not right for me.”
Hicks returned to action following a 7-3 loss Tuesday to the Blue Jays at the TD Ballpark.
“It was hard to read that someone was just murdered,” Hicks said of 20-year-old Wright, who was shot during a traffic stop. “He was a father to his son. He is also a son to his mother. When this happens it is very difficult. “
Hicks was in the original Yankees lineup on Monday, but told Boone before the game that he didn’t think he should play.
Hicks, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. – was struggling emotionally after the death of Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed black man, during a traffic stop Sunday, a day after telling Bowon, in the fifth, Hicks Started in center field. Miles where George Floyd died last summer.
Hicks spent the first three seasons of his career with twins before joining the Yanks.
“I was going back and forth on the drive,” said Hicks. “By the time I came on the field, I knew it was not right for me to play.”
He told Boone before the practice of his decision, which was supported by the manager and his teammates.
Tuesday was a different day.
“I felt that way [Monday] Was not right and [Tuesday] One day I wanted to play, ” Hicks said. “I wanted to play and compete. The competition is whether it gets away from my mind. It was good to go there today and it was a good game. I want to continue this. “
Hicks said he appreciated the support of his peers.
“It was incredible,” Hicks said. “Just being able to tell them that they’ve got my back, even if they don’t understand what it’s like, is how black Americans in this country sometimes have to deal with.” It was nice to hear, ‘This is all good. We will take care of this game for you. ‘”
Boone said he would not hesitate to allow another player to make a similar decision.
“We try to encourage here, or have a foster, an environment and a culture where you come here and obviously, you are all committed to us as a team, but you are yourself, too.” Boon said. “Talking about what happened [Monday] And Aaron, those were deeply personal things. You try and respect that when you don’t necessarily try someone else’s shoes and empathize with them, you do the best you can. “
Hicks was off to a 4-31 start with just one extra base hit, and the switch-hitter became particularly ineffective from the left, with just one pair of hits in 19 at-bats. On Tuesday, he was in the lineup for the first time this season and not in the third at-bat. He went 3-for-4 with a double.
Hicks has struggled since Tommy John returned from surgery last season, and his batting average has dropped over the past three seasons. Initial indications this year are not promising in that category and although the state’s importance has waned, it is still not ideal.