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'This is not a political discussion'
A minor league baseball team received some attention after its team jersey featured a Blue Lives Matter patch.
Now the team's general manager is speaking out and defending the uniform accoutrement.
What are the details?
The Abderdeen IronBirds, which is a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, sparked interest on social media after one of its players was featured in a photo that showcased his Blue Lives Matter patch, which was affixed to the back of the uniform.
Twitter user BaltiMurph shared the image of the player, writing, "Hey, the Ironbirds jersey has a Blue Lives Matter flag on the uniform instead of the American flag. Seems like someone should write something about it."
The photo made rounds on the internet, which sparked a response from IronBirds general manager Matt Slatus.
So what's the flag all about?
Slatus told The Baltimore Sun that the flag on the uniforms is to honor two Harford County sheriff's deputies, Patrick Dailey and Mark Logsdon, who were killed in action in 2016.
Dailey was 52 years old, and a 30-year veteran of the sheriff's office. Logsdon was 43 years old, and a 16-year veteran of the sheriff's office. It is believed that Dailey and Logsdon were the first officers killed by gunfire while on duty in more than a century.
Slatus told the outlet that the flag is not political, but an honor to the fallen officers and their families.
"We are not a political organization by any means," Slatus said. "We're here to provide affordable family fun and entertainment to the Upper Chesapeake region. We're here to develop baseball players and make sure that, most importantly, people come out to the ballpark and have a great time."
He added, "This is not a political discussion. It's not a political point. We continue to honor and recognize the memory of the two deputies who tragically — while trying to protect the region — lost their lives in Harford County."
John Maroon, who is a spokesman for Ripken Baseball — the organization that owns the IronBirds — said that fans of the team have largely supported the patch.
"We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback for this action," he said. "This incident left deep scars on our community and we are proud and honored in the way which we have recognized he officers and law enforcement. We have every intention of continuing to recognize the officers and honor their service moving forward."
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