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OC Register: Angels’ Brian Goodwin says it’s important to continue the discussion about equality

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ANAHEIM — Brian Goodwin has continued to make a statement during the national anthem, even as some of his Angels teammates did so only on Opening Day.

For a simple reason.

The racism that Goodwin and other players have been protesting by kneeling during the national anthem still exists.

“It’s an important issue,” Goodwin said Thursday. “It’s something that needs to be addressed, and when you have the stage to address it, I feel like you need to use it. And right now, I’m in position to have the stage and have the support from the Angels, so it would be a detriment to people who know me and my fans and people back home for me to not take advantage of it.”

On Opening Day this past Friday, Goodwin, Justin Upton, Keynan Middleton, Andrelton Simmons and Noé Ramirez all kneeled for the anthem. Since then Goodwin has continued to do so, while the others have either stood or been out of sight during the anthem.

During the sport’s shutdown, Goodwin took part in some peaceful demonstrations in the wake of the George Floyd murder, which sparked a new wave of protests of systemic racism throughout the country.

It’s been reflected around Major League Baseball, with players all around the majors kneeling during the anthem and wearing Black Lives Matter shirts, apparently with the support of the sport and the clubs.

“This is kind of new territory, honestly, for me, and probably some of the other guys that are involved,” Goodwin said. “The main thing we have to do is keep bringing attention to the issue. We have to continue to use our voices the way we have been, and doing so collectively with everyone in sync and on the same page. I think it comes off as a stronger narrative when everyone is on the same page and doing everything together…

“We have to keep bringing attention to the issue, keep peacefully protesting, keep using our voices the best we know how and keep making statements however we can, whether it’s on or off the field, on social media, even interviews like this.”

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Keynan Middleton, right, celebrates with Max Stassi after the Angels defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-2 in a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)


Although many fans and analysts expected Middleton to be a part of the high leverage portion of the Angels bullpen, apparently Joe Maddon isn’t ready to put Middleton in that role yet.

“I’d rather break him in slowly,” Maddon said Thursday afternoon. “He’s got the fine arm. There’s still some things I’d like him to settle in and at some point, yes, fold him into the latter part of the game. But right now we like earlier, or in the situations that you’ve seen him to this point.”

Middleton entered in the seventh with a three-run lead in his first game, but his only other appearance was in the ninth inning with the Angels up by eight runs. He did not pitch in either of the two games that the bullpen let late leads get away.

Middleton was the Angels closer just before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. He has since worked to improve his changeup and slider, to go with his 97 mph fastball.

“Keynan will get his opportunity,” Maddon said, “but for right now, though, it’s not necessarily high leverage.”


The Angels recalled reliever Kyle Keller from the Long Beach squad to take the roster spot of Mike Trout, who was placed on the paternity list…

Julio Teheran was scheduled for a three-inning outing in a simulated game with the Angels reserve squad in Long Beach on Thursday afternoon. If he comes through that without any issues, he could be ready to join the Angels rotation next week. Teheran is behind the other starters because he missed the start of camp recovering from a bout with the coronavirus…

Parker Markel has rejoined the Angels’ squad in Long Beach after being on the injured list for undisclosed reasons. The Angels don’t currently have anyone in their 60-player pool who is unavailable to work out.

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