The Colorado Rockies outfielder announced on Monday that Ian Desmond will withdraw from this season’s game.
He wrote at the end of a lengthy post on Instagram: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made this season a risk that I do not want to accept,” he talked about the games and opportunities for young baseball players.
Desmond wrote: “There is a pregnant wife and four children who have many questions about what is happening in the world, so now it is the home I need now. The home of my wife Chelsea. The home for help . Go home and guide. Here answer my three big boys about coronavirus and civil rights and life. Become their father’s home.
Desmond grew up in Sarasota, Florida. He made his major league debut in Washington in 2009. Two-time All-Star, once spent a season in Texas and then signed with the Rockies.
Desmond said in an Instagram post that since George Floyd died in Minnesota on May 25, he has been sharing more of his thoughts and experiences as a mixed-race man. Black Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than 7 minutes.
Desmond said his idea started when he recently visited the Sarasota baseball stadium he played as a kid. He wrote about how they seem to linger and how important youth baseball is to his growth.
Desmond wrote: “Why don’t we support teaching games to all children, especially those in poor communities? Why not consider affordable youth sports as an important opportunity to affect children’s growth, not make money Propositions and recruitment opportunities? It’s hard to put your head around it.”
Desmond said he wanted to help Sarasota’s youth baseball team get back on track. He wrote: “This is a lot of things I can do, so I did it.”
Desmond has played 11 seasons, and the past three seasons have been in the Rockies. He hit .255 in 20 home runs and 65 hits in 140 games in 2019.
According to the Associated Press, Desmond’s deserved salary is prorated to the proportion of $5,555,556 of his $15 million salary, which is part of a $70 million five-year contract . He was owed $8 million next year, and his transactions included a team option of $15 million in 2022 and a buyout of $2 million.
Earlier on Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Washington national first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross announced that they had opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.