SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- South African-born reliever Kieran Lovegrove is a new name to the Giants' organization -- he could even be a name you've never heard of. I'm not one of those people.
However, this was the first time I met Lovegrove in person.
Despite spending many years following each other's careers on social media, I was never given the opportunity to interview the young pitcher. But when he posted a photo of some unique shoes recently, I was curious. Not only were these beauties, well beautiful, but they had a very special message behind them:
If you haven't used @stockx to find those sneakers you've been craving, you're missing out.#BHM#BHM2019#EqualityForAll#StockX— Kieran Lovegrove (@Lovegrove19) February 21, 2019
Proud to be able to rock these during Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/u4SlDeukJP
On the inner-tongue of the Converse shoes, "Equality" in yellow is printed with "BHM" on the front. "BHM" is also engraved on the side of the colorful shoes.
Every year, Lovegrove tries to get one of the Black History Month pairs.
"Really, it's me wanting to continue to stand against racism," Lovegrove told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Especially as it exists today, it's just gotten so divisive against people -- that's all it is -- to show solidarity."
The 24-year-old reliever was modest saying the message may not "be much," since it's a pair of shoes, but it starts a conversation.
"Fashion is a way that you can stand for something without your words being misconstrued," he said.
Four years ago, a teammate of Lovegrove's convinced him to get a pair of Jordan's. He was unsure about them at first, but ultimately he became the new owner of Spike Lee 40's, the Black History Month edition. After receiving numerous compliments, he wanted to continue showing his support whether in the form of a shoe, or otherwise.
"Not that I need more shoes," he laughed.
He's running out of room in his closet, and with his girlfriend moving to the area in May, it's imperative he makes room. But until then, he has no problem with his kicks taking up space -- especially when it sends such a powerful message.
"I'll celebrate the accomplishments of great black men and women in history overall."