The New York Yankees third baseman posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram regarding the unrest in his home country of Colombia.
The political unrest in Colombia has officially reached Major League Baseball.
Two of the country’s most well-known players, New York Yankees infielder Gio Urshela and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Luis Patiño, have now offered their takes. Both men posted their thoughts to their Instagram profiles, but Urshela’s was particularly powerful.
A loose Google translation reads as follows (Patiño’s post may be seen here):
It hurts to see what is happening in my country, Colombia. Everything has been totally lost and violence, the use of weapons, abuse, the deaths of people and the excessive use of force are unacceptable. I do not agree with violence on the part of any side, neither from the vandals nor from the authority. Violence will only generate more violence. It is time that Colombians are listened to in a peaceful way, that dialogue and making correct and sensible decisions prevail for all. Life is sacred and non-negotiable. We need leaders who unite us as a country, not destroy us.
Colombia has been in turmoil for the past couple years as its citizens are fed up with government corruption. More recently, protesters have taken to the streets to speak out against new taxes to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the country’s economy. The issue is the bill offered little to no relief to businesses or individuals, and president Ivan Duque announced Sunday it would be withdrawn.
And from Gio Urshela’s end, it is clear why he spoke out. He clearly loves his country, having twice played for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic. As a professional baseball player, he carries strong influence there even though he’s currently playing in the United States.
It didn’t just make sense for Gio Urshela to speak out on the violence in his home country. It was practically required. His words won’t carry a ton of power, but here’s hoping they can at least lead to some change.