Aaron Hicks Sits Out Yankees Game Following Police Shooting of Daunte Wright: He's 'Hurting in a Huge Way'
Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks opted to sit out Monday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays following the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minneapolis on Sunday.
The team's manager, Aaron Boone, announced the adjustment to the starting lineup during a press conference Monday afternoon.
"With all that's going on in Minneapolis, he's having a tough time right now," Boone said of Hicks. "We had a conversation in my office, and he felt like it was best to not be in the starting lineup tonight, and I certainly support that."
He continued, "We'll try to rally around him as best we can. Obviously, the situation is heartbreaking right now in Minneapolis. It's hit Aaron particularly hard."
When asked by reporters what he would say to anyone criticizing his player for skipping the high stakes game, he replied that "Aaron's hurting in a huge way."
"My consideration is with Aaron and with his wellbeing and making sure that, as best we can, we support him," Boone said.
Boone also said that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was "considering" whether he'll sit out as well but Stanton later opted to play.
Several Minnesota sports teams have also announced they will postpone their games out of respect following Sunday night's fatal shooting.
The Minnesota Twins will not play their scheduled game against the Boston Red Sox "out of respect for the tragic events that occurred in Brooklyn Center," the team said in a statement on Twitter Monday.
"The Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interests of our fans, staff, players, and community to not play today's game."
"The Minnesota Twins organization extends its sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright," the statement concludes.
The NBA also announced the Minnesota Timberwolves game against the Brooklyn Nets would be postponed in response to Wright's killing.
"The National Basketball Association announced today that in light of the tragic events in the Minneapolis area yesterday, tonight's game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center has been postponed," the NBA said in a statement, concluding: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Daunte Wright during these difficult times."
The Minnesota Wild were set to host the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, but that game will also be postponed until May 12 "out of respect for the heartbreaking incident."
"The Minnesota Wild organization extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Daunte Wright," the team said in a statement.
Wright was unarmed when he was fatally shot Sunday during a traffic stop. He was the victim of an "accidental" shooting by a police officer who allegedly believed she was using her taser and not her gun, the police chief said Monday.
"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy her taser," Chief Tim Gannon of Brooklyn Center, Minn., said at a news conference. "It appears to me that this was an accidental discharge."
Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Daunte Wright.
The shooting just before 2 p.m. prompted overnight protests and clashes with police in the suburb of Minneapolis, a city already on edge as testimony continues in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, another Black man, while in police custody.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called for the officer, who was not named, to be fired.
"Let me be very clear," Elliott said at the news conference. "My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, and so I do fully support relieving the officer of her duties."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement that he is "praying for Daunte Wright's family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement."
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