The Boston Red Sox placed a 254-foot "Black Lives Matter" banner outside of Fenway Park and over the Massachusetts Turnpike this week.
On Thursday, Sam Kennedy spoke to reporters about the organization's decision to hang the banner. The Sox president emphasized that it was not meant to be taken as a political statement but rather, a "human rights" one.
"The amplification and reinforcement of the Black Lives Matter message or movement, we don't see it as a political statement. We see it as a human rights statement," Kennedy said during a Zoom call. "And it's important to our employees. It's important to our players. And so it's something we feel very strongly about.
U.S. & World
"We understand and respect that others may see it as a political statement. We don't see it as a political statement or an endorsement of any political organization or political policies. We see it as a human rights message for justice and equality. And there's an incredibly powerful movement going on around the globe right now. And we're very supportive of the fight for social justice and equality for everybody."
Take a look at the "Black Lives Matter" banner below:
Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App
Kennedy went on to say he expects the billboard to be there "for an extended period of time."
The Red Sox also will include elements of the "Black Lives Matter" movement in their Opening Day pregame ceremonies Friday night. A stencil behind the mound, the base jewels, and lineup cards each will show the acronym "BLM." A "Black Lives Matter" sign will stretch across sections of the Bleacher seats in center field.
In June, Kennedy and the Red Sox released a statement condemning the "senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor."
Where we stand: pic.twitter.com/V6Yug1NXxq— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 2, 2020
Boston's Opening Day matchup vs. the Baltimore Orioles is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.