The new Marlins Boss – and retired Yankee captain – does not appear to have any issues with athletes kneeling during the national anthem, although Derek Jeter didn’t indicate whether or not he would take a knee now that he’s part of a baseball team front office.
"Would I? I’m not playing," said Jeter Wednesday night at Cipriani Wall Street, where his Turn 2 Foundation celebrated its 21st anniversary dinner.
"The thing that I think is frustrating, this whole rhetoric that is going back and forth. People lose sight of the fact of why someone was kneeling," said Jeter. "They’re focused so much on the fact that they are kneeling as opposed to what they’re kneeling for. Peaceful protests are fine. You have your right to voice your opinion. As long as it’s a peaceful protest, everyone should be fine with that."
Of course, one of Jeter’s other business ventures is the Players’ Tribune, his website that allows former and current athletes to voice their unfiltered views. Many of the Players’ Tribune contributors have written about numerous social issues, so it would have been unusual for Jeter to say he is opposed to athletes taking a knee during the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner."
Jeter, 43, did not divulge much about his new job, other than to say, "I’ve got to spend a lot of time on" his Marlins ownership responsibilities. A recent tweet by the Marlins showed a photo of Jeter behind a desk, with two iPads open and a hand sanitizer stationed behind him, with the caption, "A new era begins." Jeter is also a new dad – he and his wife Hannah celebrated the birth of daughter Bella in August – but he added that he would still be "active" with Turn 2, which creates programs and promotes healthy lifestyles for kids.
"Community is important. We’ll continue to do this. It’s part of our family’s legacy. It’s important for us to continue to give back," said Jeter.
Jeter said that after he retired from playing following the 2014 season, he "needed some time away from the game."
"It’s what I’ve done my entire life. But I’m happy to be back in it. I’ve been pretty vocal throughout my career that when I was done I wanted to be part of an ownership group," said Jeter. "That was the second dream, so now I’m getting an opportunity to do that."
The Turn 2 event took place at the same time as Game 5 of the ALDS between Jeter’s former club and the Indians. While Jeter said he still pulls for the Bombers, that pinstriped rooting interest will end if the Yankees and Marlins meet on the diamond in the future.
"I still got a lot of friends that are playing (in the 2017 playoffs). I’m always pulling for the Yankees, just not if we’re playing them," said Jeter.