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Yankees Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks kneel during national anthem

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Two Yankees protest systemic racism, police brutality in the United States

MLB: New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

On Opening Day, both the Yankees and Nationals took a knee before the playing of the national anthem. Many players from New York also wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts during batting practice. A symbolic gesture designed to support the BIPOC community, both rosters stood for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Today, however, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks sent a stronger message. They took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. DJ LeMahieu stood, but applauded his teammates with pats on the shoulder.

Many players, however, did not even take the field. Marly Rivera captured the scene powerful scene.

Stanton has been among the most vocal players in the league, speaking out against racism and police brutality. “It feels different, to the fact that more will listen now,” he told Bryan Hoch earlier this month. “We’ve got to be a face. We’ve got to be the outlet to get the information out there and show that to lead the force.”

Hicks echoed that sentiment, adding that he has made a point to shop at Black businesses and promote the movement in actions, not just words. “It’s a strong movement that I definitely want to be a part of, because this is something that’s been going on throughout my life, in Black people’s lives in general,’’ he explained to Pete Caldera. “And it’s kind of been going unnoticed.’’