The night before he left to play for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Marcus Stroman was involved in a police-related encounter that “still haunts me until this day,” the Mets right-hander said.
Stroman revealed his own experience while retweeting a link to a story about Jay Pharoah, in which the former “Saturday Night Live” star said he was recently jogging in Los Angeles when he was stopped by police, handcuffed and had one of the officer’s knees on his neck — all because he fit the description of a black man they were looking for.
“I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd,” Pharoah said.
“I’ve been in a similar situation and it still haunts me until this day,” Stroman, who is black, wrote while quote-tweeting the Pharoah story. “It’s an experience that opens your eyes and provides an uneasy feeling going through life. I’ll never forget that day. It was the night before I left to play for Team USA in 2017. Life-changing moment!”
“… a moment that I’ve refused to acknowledge and consistently try to bury deep down. Didn’t tell my mother until two years later. Remembering that moment brings nothing but hatred in my heart. Truly live every day now with a smile because that day could have been my last!”
The 29-year-old Long Island native — who went on to win MVP as Team USA won the World Baseball Classic — is one of a growing number of athletes who have spoken out on the racism and police brutality they have faced in their own lives. The conversation comes in the aftermath of the deaths of Floyd, Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing protests across the country.