Andrew McCutchen has become something of a fan favorite in Philadelphia despite not having suited up for a game in what feels like forever. That's due in part to his hilarious off-the-field exploits as his "uncle" Larry but also for his thoughtful analysis of many issues.
The latter was on display over the weekend when McCutchen joined The Sports Bubble with Jensen Karp to talk about some of the more topical racial issues facing society today.
The topic of the "good old boys culture" in baseball comes up, inspired by a poweful Instagram post by Ian Desmond last week.
"There needs to be change," McCutchen said of unwritten rules in MLB, pointing to different standards for different players.
The Phillies outfielder then weighed in on the New York Yankees' longstanding policy on limiting facial hair and hair length.
For me it was an honor to (wear those pinstripes). You feel a little more powerful when you put that (Yankees') uniform on. Those policies, shaving and letting the jersey speak for itself, I do think it takes away from our individualism as players and as people. We express ourselves in different ways. When I was on the Pirates and I had those dreadlocks, I'd be lying to you if I got traded to the Yankees and they said you'd have to shave your hair, for me that would have been a very tough thing to do. That was who I was. That was how I expressed myself. That's what made me Andrew McCutchen. That's how people noticed who I was. It made me unique.
"I think especially in 2020, these things are things that people should take to heart and realize we have a way of expressing ourselves in different ways. Maybe there should be some change there in the future. Who knows when. That's just one of many things in the game that needs to be talked about and addressed.
McCutchen had an impressive 25-game stint with the Yankees to finish 2018 before opting to join the Phillies the following offseason.
As far as returning to play later this month during the pandemic, McCutchen believes the Black Lives Matter movement needs to be talked about by those few Black players in the game.
"If we don't talk about it, it will easily be swept under a rug," McCutchen said. "We don't have many people that represent us in this game. There are some guys who aren't in my position who can speak up, who may feel they are over-stepping their boundaries. It takes people like myself and others in this game to be able to speak up and to be able to make this public and not just one clubhouse to the other."
I respect the franchise and its traditions. If my opinion triggered you, then, peace be with you. Good day— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) July 6, 2020
You can listen to the full conversation here and here.
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