Yasiel Puig Celebrates The Seventh Anniversary Of His MLB Debut By Speaking Up ‘As A Man Of Color’

Yasiel Puig of the Cleveland Indians bats as J.T. Realmuto of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on
David Maxwell / Getty Images

Yasiel Puig said he has a special understanding of what people who are taking part in the George Floyd protests are going through. In a Twitter post on Wednesday night, the outfielder explained why he thought he had a unique point of view, while also celebrating the seventh anniversary of his Major League Baseball debut.

Puig is a Cuban baseball product that set foot on the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time on June 3, 2013. The slugger, who has since played with two other major league teams, used the occasion to speak out on his “personal experience” since coming to America.

“Today, as I look back on that memory, and take account of everything that I have lived through since then, I want to speak up for the very first time about my personal experiences, as a man of color. I came from a country where I could not speak up, we could not express out thoughts and protests were a punishable act. I want my black brothers and sisters to know that although I have had the privilege of playing on a national stage, that privilege has not prevented me from feeling the sting of being an Afro-Latino man.”

Puig went on to say that despite having privilege and money that comes from being a major league baseball player, he hasn’t been able to escape the preconceived notion people have about the color of his skin. He added that seven years after he first appeared for the Dodgers, he’s going to raise his voice and fight for equal rights for everyone.

The outfielder said he believes that everyone should get the respect that every person deserves. He finished his post by saying he wanted to see society, in general, continue to take steps forward and heal what is going on in the country.

As Puig said himself, he’s largely kept silent about topics outside the baseball world. Inside that realm, he’s considered a fiery competitor who has said and done things that have aggravated teammates and opponents alike from time to time.

Despite most baseball analysts agreeing he’s a very talented player, he was traded by the Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds after six years, following the 2018 season. Last year, he was once again dealt, this time from the Reds to the Cleveland Indians. The outfielder is currently still a free agent, having seen his market dry up when baseball shut down due to the coronavirus.

Puig got off to a raucous start in his MLB career. He had two hits in four at-bats in his debut. He hit two home runs and drove in five runs in his second-ever major league game. He finished his rookie campaign with a .319 batting average, 19 home runs, and 11 steals. He also finished second in the National League in Rookie of the Year voting.