DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
Editor’s note: This was originally posted as a Twitter thread on the @BreckEpic account. I could tidy it up, but I think it gets to the heart of things authentically, if a bit inelegantly. It’s been edited a titch, but not much. It is written in the first person because while I normally speak as “we,” in order to spread credit around, in matters such as these, I want no confusion about where I stand. This buck stops with me.
April 15, 2021
I don’t have all the answers. Knowing that is Step 1. So I’m asking questions. Then listening. That’s Step 2. History strongly suggests that I’m gonna get some things wrong before I get them right. But intent matters. In the meantime, know THIS:
If you are black, gay, bi, trans, Asian, Hispanic, female or anything other than a cis-gendered caucasian male (like me. I mention this because on the surface at least, I’m the LEAST qualified person to understand your lived experience. But you need to know that I, along with a lot of others like me, are trying), you are welcome here. You are safe here. You are VALUED here. That is our promise to you. MY promise to you.
Neutrality is smart business. They say. Businesses need to be apolitical to survive. Again…they say. Using the initial George Floyd/BLM protests as an example, I know that causes can evoke responses that are sometimes performative. But my house is full of mirrors. And I need to be able to look in them every night. I also need to look my sons in the eye knowing that I’ve shown them the right path. To our many wonderful athletes; we ask little. Other than the respect of our 3 rules. This falls under Rule #1.
We can scarcely afford it after a truly devastating year. But if you’re registered and you can’t get on board with this message, please DM me and we’ll issue your refund promptly. While wishing you a speedier personal arc towards enlightenment.
Again, I don’t have all the answers. But in this case, I have the one I need for this moment. I can (and will) refuse service to anyone. Because there aren’t “two sides” here. This is not a plan. With help and feedback, we can and will do better. This is but one step. One that to me at least, matters.
This is for my uncle Patrick. And Mrs. MikeMac’s uncle Martin. For my friend & brother Dave. For Tara Seplavy, one of the bravest humans I know. For Silas, a trans man who gave me the best piece of parenting advice I’ve ever received, when I desperately needed someone to hear me. And help me. I hold his counsel in my mind and heart to this day. This is for a dear friend’s little girl, who will face untold hatred in her life if these things are left unaddressed. For simply being who she is. This is for Chelsea. For Amy. For Jessica. For my nephew Corey and his beautiful baby Jordy.
TWEET 6.5 (sub-tweet)
I’m not sure I’ve ever played the GFY card, but I sleep better knowing that I have it in my pocket. Because combined with the company checkbook (which I can use to process an instant refund,) this passive-aggressive little suitcase nuke is among the very best things about working for yourself. If somebody’s money is coated in asshole-cooties, I don’t want it. The race is better off without those dollars and in my experience, that sort of addition-by-subtraction has been a good long-term business model.
I don’t have all the answers. But my heart has been heavy. I needed to say this.
I know where I stand. I stand with my people. ALL of them.
Will this cost us money? Yeah. Probably. Can we afford that? Yeah. Uh…no. Not after COVID. We really can’t. MLB can afford to take a moral stand. Those tasseled loafered stiffs are brazillionaires. The cost of a gallon of milk affects me more than it does them.
On almost all political issues I think our society and country benefit from having more than one perspective (as long as we can discuss those differences civilly.) Taking this position on this issue may alienate those who feel differently.
But you know what? This isn’t a political issue. This is a human rights issue. I may need to wait a while before I get a new pair of Vans.
But I’m gonna sleep like a baby tonight.
Totally. Fucking. Worth it.