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Cardinals send unified message on racial equality on opening day, opt not to kneel for national anthem

During the playing of the anthem, none of the Cardinals took a knee

ST. LOUIS — Like other teams around baseball, the Cardinals came together for a unified message on racial injustice during pregame on opening day at Busch Stadium.

The team wore shirts that said "Black Lives Matter" during pregame warm ups, "BLM" was stenciled into the pitching mound, and statements of unity were worn as patches on jerseys.

The Cardinals, along with the Pirates joined together around the field pregame holding a black cloth together before the national anthem.

During the playing of the anthem, none of the Cardinals took a knee.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said the team was "united" on their message earlier this week.

"This group is very sincere about supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. We'll do it in a unified manner that will really follow what the Players' Alliance has suggested strongly. We support that. We believe in it as a group. So we'll participate in that as a group on Friday," Shildt said Wednesday.

Credit: AP
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt wears a face mask to guard against COVID-19 and wears a "Black Lives Matter" shirt during batting practice before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, July 24, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Cardinals opening day starter Jack Flaherty has been one of the most outspoken players when it comes to racial justice, and also gave his take on making statements in regard to the movement.

"Everybody has their own right and their own way of doing things. There's no right way or wrong way of doing things. We are all together. We are all unified. If somebody wants to kneel, that's phenomenal for them. If somebody doesn't want to kneel that's phenomenal for them. Everybody has the right to go out and protest in their own way," Flaherty said.

Watch: Adam Wainwright talks about supporting his Black teammates

Flaherty did address the reasoning some still give for not supporting kneeling during the anthem.

"There's still the misconception about kneeling. People still take it politically. People still take is as 'you're disgracing the flag, or you're disgracing the soldiers.' People still want to take it that way even though it's been publicized and said that that is not at all what it's about. It has been said that it has nothing to do with that, but people still want to take it like that. And it's frustrating to still have that conversation," Flaherty said.

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