It should not be a surprise that Tony Kemp was named as the Oakland A’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
On Thursday, the nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award were announced. While only one player will win, the announcement highlights what those individual players have done for the community and how they are looking to make a difference on and off the diamond. It is a great way to shine a spotlight on the positive impact these players are making that may otherwise go unnoticed.
However, the Oakland A’s nominee was not much of a shock. Tony Kemp was selected, with a spotlight shining on his efforts to engage in conversations to promote racial equality and put an end to social injustice.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd due to police brutality, Kemp had founded the +1 Effect in early June, hoping to further those conversations. The proceeds from his organization benefit Campaign Zero, an organization dedicated to decreasing police violence, and Gideon’s Army, a non-profit organization based in Nashville that looks to keep youngsters out of prison and put them on the path to success.
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That is not all that Kemp has done this year. Earlier in 2020, he and his wife launched a fundraiser to support different organizations that are supporting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proceeds of that fundraiser have helped those groups in Nashville, Oakland, and Houston.
Kemp was brought in to Oakland as one of the candidates to take over second base. He fit the nature of the organization – a player with multiple years of team control who could play numerous positions on the diamond. His speed, ability to take a walk, and respectable contact rates were certainly bound to attract the A’s.
But Kemp was not just brought in for his skills on the diamond. He was considered to be a perfect fit in the clubhouse and the community as well. The A’s have seen that aspect take off, and have furthered his mission with their work through Black Lives Matter and a series of conversations with their Vice President of Government Affairs, Taj Tashombe.
Tony Kemp was named as the Oakland A’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. It is a fitting nomination, and an award that he truly deserves.