The New York Mets were right to decide not to play Thursday night’s game against the Miami Marlins amid widespread protests by athletes following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show” Friday.
“If you saw [outfielder] Dominic Smith’s comments the night before, they were very emotional and genuine,” said Christie, a diehard Mets fan, “and if you know Dom Smith, he is generally a very happy, upbeat, optimistic guy and, so, for him to make those comments, I think what the Mets players were saying yesterday was, ‘If our teammate who we really love and care about feel that strongly about it, we’ll stand with him tonight.'”
Smith had knelt during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to Wednesday night’s game and spoke emotionally about his decision with reporters following the Mets 5-4 win over Miami.
“Just with everything that’s going on in the world, I just decided to take a little notice, and for the world to take a step back and really just see what’s going on …” Smith said. “That’s why I chose tonight. I felt like tonight was the perfect night, especially with other teams canceling their games, especially looking at the NBA. They canceled all their games today, so I just wanted to make a stand like that and show my support.”
Smith added: “The most difficult part is to see that people still don’t care. For this to continually happen, this just shows the hate in people’s hearts. That just sucks, you know. Being a Black man in America is not easy.”
The protests began Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks elected not to take the floor for their first-round NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA and NHL have since postponed their scheduled postseason games through Friday. A total of 10 MLB contests were postponed Wednesday and Thursday after players opted not to play in solidarity.
Prior to Thursday night’s game, members of the Mets and Marlins lined up in front of their dugouts while New York’s starters took their positions on the field for a 42-second moment of silence to honor Jackie Robinson. Players and umpires then left the field as Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson placed a “Black Lives Matter” shirt at home plate at Citi Field.
“The Mets did the right thing last night as players supporting a teammate,” Christie concluded.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.