Mets owner Steve Cohen says players are 'entitled' to protests: 'Black lives do matter'

Billionaire's new ownership ends the Wilpon family's 34-year control of the team

Newly approved New York Mets owner Steve Cohen says he believes his players are “entitled” to protest social injustice and other political matters as long as they give it their all when they're “between the lines.”

Continue Reading Below

Cohen addressed the issue during his introductory press conference on Tuesday where he began by saying: “Black lives do matter.”

BILLIONAIRE STEVE COHEN’S PURCHASE OF THE METS APPROVED 

“I think that it’s important that we have a diverse group of employees, not just for the sake of diversity, but for the sake of diversity of thought," the hedge fund titan said, "people come from different backgrounds and I think it makes for a much richer environment to have people from different walks of life.”

Cohen, who became a minority owner in the team in 2012 continued: “If my players want to express themselves, they’re entitled to do it, freedom of speech. The only thing I ask for, is if they’re gonna do it, just make sure when you’re between the lines you give 100%.”

Cohen's purchase, approved 26-4 by Major League baseball owners on Oct. 30, is worth $2.4 billion to $2.45 billion. It is a record price for a baseball team, topping the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management in 2012.

CLICK HERE TO GET MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXBUSINESS.COM 

This new era of ownership ends the Wilpon family's control of the franchise after 34 years.

An entity controlled by Cohen owns 95% of the franchise, while the Wilpon and Katz families retain 5% of the team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.