MLB’s statement came nine days after Floyd died in a police-involved incident on May 25. MLB was the last of the major professional sports leagues to respond to Floyd’s death or condemn racism.
“I think baseball did not do a good job with that, but voices were heard,” Betts told reporters during a conference call Monday. “That’s the main thing, that we get our voices heard to make some changes. I know it’s not all going to be at one time, but a little change here, a change there, we’ll eventually get to where we need to be.”
Betts said among his goals is to bring baseball into Black communities. The one-time American League MVP is one of the biggest stars in the sport but lacks the same national spotlight as other athletes across the sports spectrum.
“Obviously, MLB can help but I think it’s on us, as in the Black players, and kind of make baseball cool because I think that’s where the disconnect is. Us, as Black people, don’t think it’s that much fun so we have to find a way to make it fun for the Black community and get more guys here,” he said.
According to the Associated Press, the percentage of Black baseball players remains low and some think the sport has an image problem because it’s perceived as too boring.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he would like to see more Black people hired in baseball.
“To have people that look like you around you, sharing space, having those conversations daily certainly will move the needle ahead,” he said. “That’s my goal.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.