Yankees and Nationals kneel in unison before the first game of season just days after Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee - as the president plays catch with Mariano Rivera at the White House

The Yankees and Nationals knelt in unison before the first game of the season just days after Donald Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee.
Players from both clubs knelt during the opening day ceremony Thursday night, which featured several references to the ongoing civil rights movement that was triggered by the Memorial Day 'murder' of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  
The symbol of protest has divided opinion of late, with the president tweeting Tuesday that kneeling during the national anthem is a 'sign of great disrespect' and the game is 'over' for him when players do it. 
'Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!' Trump tweeted. 
This comes as the president also marked baseball's opening day by playing catch with sports legend Mariano Rivera in the grounds of the White House. 
The Yankees and Nationals knelt in unison before the first game of the season just days after Donald Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee. They later rose for the national anthem
The Yankees and Nationals knelt in unison before the first game of the season just days after Donald Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee. They later rose for the national anthem
The 2020 Major League Baseball season finally opened in Washington on Thursday night, after being put on hold when states went into lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 
Players from the Yankees and Nationals wore T-shirts saying Black Lives Matter during batting practice, and the letters 'BLM' were stenciled into the back of the mound at the center of the diamond.

In a poignant reference to the racial reckoning happening in the US, players and other members of both teams held a long black ribbon while standing spaced out along the two foul lines. 
After they placed the ribbon on the ground, all the players then got on their knees.
Trump has not publicly commented on the players taking a knee - although the players did then all rise for a taped performance of the national anthem. 
Over at the White House, the president also marked the opening day by tossing baseballs with Hall of Fame pitcher Rivera. 
Players from both clubs knelt during the opening day ceremony Thursday night, which featured several references to the ongoing civil rights movement that was triggered by the Memorial Day 'murder' of George Floyd in Minneapolis
Players from both clubs knelt during the opening day ceremony Thursday night, which featured several references to the ongoing civil rights movement that was triggered by the Memorial Day 'murder' of George Floyd in Minneapolis
Players and other members of both teams held a long black ribbon while standing spaced out along the two foul line, before they then knelt
Players and other members of both teams held a long black ribbon while standing spaced out along the two foul line, before they then knelt 
Trump tweeted Tuesday that kneeling during the national anthem is a 'sign of great disrespect' and the game is 'over' for him when players do it
Trump tweeted Tuesday that kneeling during the national anthem is a 'sign of great disrespect' and the game is 'over' for him when players do it
The retired New York Yankees relief pitcher made a surprise appearance at Trump's late afternoon coronavirus briefing, when the president introduced him saying the two of them would be heading outside to see 'some beautiful young Little Leaguers outside with a great future ahead of them'. 
'They're already practicing on the front lawn of the White House,' Trump said. 
Rivera and Trump then joined a group of about 15 young players who were playing catch on the South Lawn. 
The president and former player joined in with the sport, while Trump heaped praise on his playing buddy. 
'There was nobody like Mariano,' Trump said. 
Virtual fans will fill baseball stadiums as MLB kicks off season
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The president also marked baseball's opening day by playing catch with sports legend Mariano Rivera in the grounds of the White House
The president also marked baseball's opening day by playing catch with sports legend Mariano Rivera in the grounds of the White House
The retired New York Yankees relief pitcher (right) made a surprise appearance Thursday
The retired New York Yankees relief pitcher (right) made a surprise appearance Thursday 
Rivera and Trump then joined a group of about 15 young players who were playing catch on the South Lawn
Rivera and Trump then joined a group of about 15 young players who were playing catch on the South Lawn
Trump plays catch with pitcher Mariano Rivera to mark baseball opening
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Rivera, a Trump supporter, was awarded the presidential medal of freedom last year. 
Trump said the return of sports was 'a tremendous thing psychologically for our country' in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
He praised Major League Baseball for getting 'back to normal' by resuming games.
'I think Major League Baseball is setting an example by playing to empty stadiums. And so are other sports,' Trump said, pointing to football and golf. 
'We want to get back to normal. The key is to get back to normal.' 
When asked by a reporter if he was worried about the players coming back too quickly after Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19, Trump said: 'They're going to be able to take care of it.'  
The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals kneel while holding a black ribbon to honor Black Lives Matter before playing an opening day baseball game at Nationals Park
The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals kneel while holding a black ribbon to honor Black Lives Matter before playing an opening day baseball game at Nationals Park
A moment of silence and solidarity before the opening game Thursday
A moment of silence and solidarity before the opening game Thursday 
Trump also announced he will throw out the first pitch when the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 15.
'Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees,' Trump said of the team's president.
'He asked me to throw out the first pitch ... It's going to be interesting.'
It is unlikely spectators will be in attendance at the game as the sport gets underway without crowds. 
Yankees and Nationals kneel in unison before the first game of season just days after Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee - as the president plays catch with Mariano Rivera at the White House Yankees and Nationals kneel in unison before the first game of season just days after Trump said the game was 'over' for him when players took a knee - as the president plays catch with Mariano Rivera at the White House Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:23 Rating: 5

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