Rockies’ Desmond opts out of season: ‘Home is where I need to be right now’

Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced Monday on Instagram that he is opting out of the 2020 MLB season.

The 34-year-old stated that he will stay at home with his family rather than put himself at risk in order to play baseball.

“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,” Desmond wrote at the conclusion of a lengthy post that discussed his life, the ongoing health crisis, and racial disparity.

“Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about coronavirus and civil rights and life. Home to be their dad.”

Desmond also addressed the state of baseball, listing a wide range of systemic issues within MLB.

“Think about it: Right now in baseball we’ve got a labor war,” he wrote. “We’ve got rampant individualism on the field. In clubhouses, we’ve got racist, sexist, homophobic jokes or flat-out problems. We’ve got cheating. We’ve got a minority issue from the top down. One African American GM. Two African American managers. Less than 8% Black players. No Black majority team owners.”

The two-time All-Star is the fourth player to opt out of the season, joining Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Washington Nationals teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross.

Desmond was scheduled to earn the prorated portion of his $15-million salary for the upcoming campaign. He hit .255/.310/.479 with 20 home runs, 31 doubles, and 65 RBIs for the Rockies last season.

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