Most players on the Miami Marlins would probably tell you they’re more interested in Derek Jeter’s take on beards and mustaches -- something that hasn’t been permitted in the past -- than whether he’ll allow them to kneel during the “Star-Spangled Banner.” After all, not one of them took a knee toward the end of the season when the anthem protest was picking up steam in the NFL.
But just in case any of them was wondering, Jeter doesn’t appear to have any problem with it.
Speaking at his Turn 2 Foundation banquet in New York on Wednesday, the Marlins’ new part-owner said kneeling was fine with him.
“The thing that I think is frustrating, this whole rhetoric that is going back and forth. People lose sight of the fact of why someone is kneeling,” Jeter said, according to the New York Daily News. “They’re focused so much on the fact that they are kneeling as opposed to what they’re kneeling for. Peaceful protests are fine. You have your right to voice your opinion. As long as it’s a peaceful protest, everyone should be fine with that.”
The kneeling movement hasn’t taken hold in baseball the way it has in football. Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the anthem back in September. But he was the only one. None of the players on the 10 teams involved in this year’s postseason have done so.
For a period, including his one season with the Marlins in 2005, former Major League first baseman Carlos Delgado refused to stand on the field for “God Bless America” when it was played during the seventh-inning stretch. Delgado didn’t like how it was tied to the war in Iraq, which he opposed.
As for Jeter, he didn’t indicate whether or not he’d kneel.
“Would I? I’m not playing,” he said Wednesday.