Oakland A’s infielder Tony Kemp has been looking to talk to anyone that has questions about the current racial tensions gripping the country.
Over the past few weeks, racial tensions in the United States have reached a boiling point. Protests have gripped every state, with these protests, and the arguments against, becoming more heated as time goes on. It is an uncomfortable time, and a time that has led to a lot of questions and introspection.
Oakland A’s infielder Tony Kemp is amongst those who want to get the narrative going. Earlier this month, he stated that he is willing to answer questions about Black Lives Matter or to talk to anyone that needs an ear.
To keep the ball rolling, Kemp shared his own experience in such a situation. He was 17 when he was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop, with the stop leading to additional police units and a request to conduct a full search of his car.
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Fortunately, Kemp was able to walk away from the encounter with just a warning. Nonetheless, the stop, and the subsequent actions, left him shaken. That also planted a seed, where he could not watch what has happened without thinking back to those days as a 17 year old kid, terrified of what would come next.
And now, he has a platform where he can use his voice to try to create a better world. It is easy to say that athletes should stick to sports, and not concern themselves with social justice, but they should not have to make that choice. This is especially true when they have been in such a situation before, as Kemp has.
This is also not a problem outside of sports. Torii Hunter and Adam Jones both spoke of the racist taunts they have heard in Boston. While it may not be publicized, those issues stretch beyond Fenway Park. It is naive to think that this does not happen in other places. It is just a conversation that people do not want to have.
Except Tony Kemp is willing to have those conversations. In a time with a lot of turmoil, the Oakland A’s infielder is willing to try to help everyone navigate these waters.