Ian Desmond will choose not to play this season, the Colorado Rockies outfielder announced Monday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I don’t feel comfortable with,” he wrote at the end of a long Instagram post that touched the race and the opportunities for young players to baseball.
“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world, the house is where I need to be now,” “Desmond wrote.” Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to drive. Home to answer questions from my three older children about Coronavirus, civil rights and life. Home to be their dad. ”
Desmond, who grew up in Sarasota, Florida, made his big league debut with Washington in 2009. The two-time All-Star played for Texas for one season before signing with the Rockies.
In his Instagram post, Desmond said he shared more of his thoughts and experiences as a biracial man since George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minnesota. Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than seven minutes.
Desmond said his mind started running during a recent visit to Sarasota baseball fields where he played as a child. He wrote about how run down and neglected they looked and how important youth baseball was to growing up.
“Why can’t we support the teaching of play to all children, but especially to those in disadvantaged communities?”, Desmond wrote. “Why aren’t accessible and accessible kids’ sports seen as an essential opportunity to influence children’s development, as opposed to making money and recruiting opportunities? It’s hard to wrap our heads.”
Desmond has said he wants to help Sarasota Youth Baseball get back on track. “It’s what I can do, in the pattern of so much,” he wrote. “So, I am.”
Desmond has played 11 seasons, the last three with the Rockies. He beat .255 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI in 140 games in 2019.
Desmond had had to pay $ 5,555,556 for the shared share of his $ 15 million salary, part of a $ 70 million five-year contract, according to The Associated Press. He will owe $ 8 million next year and his deal includes a $ 15 million team option for 2022 with a $ 2 million buyout.
Monday Monday, Arizona Diamondback pitcher Mike Leake and Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross announced that they are retiring from the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.