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‘A lot more needs to be done’ about social justice, White Sox’ Lucas Giolito says

Lucas Giolito voiced support for athletes who are boycotting games to speak out against racial injustice and police violence, but said the White Sox haven’t met to discuss it among themselves.

“It does give me hope seeing baseball players speaking up, standing up,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “But I think that there’s a lot more that needs to be done.”
“It does give me hope seeing baseball players speaking up, standing up,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “But I think that there’s a lot more that needs to be done.”
Matt Marton/AP

White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito voiced support for athletes boycotting games to speak out against racial injustice and police violence but said the Sox haven’t met to discuss it among themselves.

They more than likely will, though.

“It does give me hope seeing baseball players speaking up, standing up,” Giolito said. “But I think that there’s a lot more that needs to be done.”

The Sox were off Thursday after playing a day game Wednesday. They reconvene Friday to open a series at home against the Royals.

“I want to continue to raise awareness, talking about it like I’m talking now, not being afraid to express my opinion and how I feel about it, obviously, as a white man, as a white baseball player,” Giolito said on a teleconference call. “But at the same time, there’s a lot more education that I need to have. I need to read more, talk to my teammates more about it. We haven’t really totally addressed it as a team or anything yet. I think that’s something we’ll be doing and go from there.”

Giolito pitched a no-hitter against the Pirates on Tuesday, the peak of a wildly entertaining and eventful stretch in which the Sox have won nine of 10 games. While dealing with the global pandemic and social unrest boiling over all around them, they have remained focused on their jobs.

“I don’t think anything going on is a distraction,” Giolito said. “It’s real life. It’s what’s going on in this country. It’s been kind of weird because a couple of days ago I had a really good game, and, like, I want to enjoy that and celebrate that. We have been.

“Our team is playing well. Momentum is good. But at the same time, there is a lot going on outside of baseball that is very important. . . . We are going to have to have a discussion on the team and see where everyone’s head is at.”

Giolito said he hadn’t discussed the situation with Tim Anderson, the Sox’ only African-American player. But he will.

Players around baseball are using their platform to call attention to racial injustice. Seven games were postponed Thursday after three were postponed Wednesday. The Brewers were first to not take the field Wednesday night to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“[This started with] the NBA, and I should say the WNBA, too, because the women in the WNBA really seem to be on the forefront as far as pushing for change, social justice,” Giolito said. “It’s obviously a very strange time in this country. What went down with Jacob Blake, that’s unacceptable. That shouldn’t be happening in a developed country. A man getting shot seven times in his back, that just shouldn’t happen.

“But you see what’s going on, athletes continuing to use their voice to speak up, whether that just be in an interview or with what we see going on with players boycotting, or whatever you want to call it, not just in the NBA and WNBA, but now it’s creeping into MLB and even further. It’s part of a bunch of people saying enough’s enough, that this isn’t something that should continue to go on in this country.”

NOTES: After their weekend home series against the Royals, the Sox have their top two starters, Lucas Giolito (Monday) and Dallas Keuchel (Tuesday) lined up to face the American League Central favorite Twins in a three-game series that begins Monday in Minneapolis.

Jose Abreu has a 10-game hitting streak, Tim Anderson has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and Eloy Jimenez has a seven-game hitting streak.

• Off to a slow start, 37-year-old designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (182./250./429 hitting line) is showing signs of breaking out. His last eight hits have been for extra bases, including four homers.