The Tampa Bay Rays, like much of the sports world, commemorated Juneteenth today by releasing the following statement:
Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War ended, and that the enslaved were now free. This announcement was more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in America.
This date celebrates a belated liberation for Black people in the United States. Juneteenth is an opportunity to consider the promises of freedom not yet fully realized for all.
Nobody is free until everybody is free.
The Rays had never posted about Juneteenth before, but it is always the right time to do better than before.
Today is a reflection of freedom, a day to celebrate and educate.
The Rays play in a city and region where well over 22% of the population identified as African American or black, as of 2010, with that number surely growing. Their continuing statements and donations in solidarity with the black community are a good and appropriate step in the direction of equality for all in the United States.