James Paxton: 'Time To Listen, Learn, and Take Action'

Max Goodman

Yankees' left-hander James Paxton has joined a growing group of professional athletes to speak out on the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The 31-year-old posted a message of self-reflection to his Instagram page late Monday night, explaining that he is beginning to recognize his "privilege" while understanding it's time to "listen, learn and take action."

"My white privilege has allowed me to be oblivious to the true magnitude of oppression the black community faces," Paxton wrote. "My silence to this point is also a product of my white privilege. I’m beginning to realize my privilege and ignorance. Time to listen, learn, and take action. #blacklivesmatter"

Paxton posted an image with the following text superimposed onto a black background:

"I understand that I will never understand. However, I stand with you."

Just over one week ago, George Floyd – a 46-year-old African American – died in police custody at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. Derek Chauvin – who has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – spent several minutes kneeling on the back of Floyd's neck.

Video of the event went viral, sparking public outrage and protests sweeping the nation in countless major cities.

The left-hander isn't alone among athletes in New York City in using his platform to let his voice be heard. Paxton's teammate Giancarlo Stanton, along with some of the Mets' brightest stars, have shared similar sentiments on social media, denouncing racism and striving to make a change. 

Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso posted a statement to his Instagram page calling for "justice and change." He assured he will be an ally and fight for those facing discrimination solely based upon the color of their skin. 

Similarly, Derek Jeter shared a powerful statement to social media, calling for the end of racial hatred. 

"I hope we can all denounce the insidious signs of racial hatred and take action as human beings," the Hall of Famer wrote.

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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