Blue Jays' Alek Manoah Awarded $100K After Sticking Up For His Teammate On Twitter

"We're like brothers, and I know he has my back, and he knows I have his back."

Alek Manoah. Right: Alejandro Kirk.

Alek Manoah. Right: Alejandro Kirk.

Blue Jays' Alek Manoah has been awarded the first-ever $100,000 sponsorship for sportsmanship from Dove Men+ Care after defending his teammate Alejandro Kirk from hate on Twitter.

The Blue Jays player's $100,000 sponsorship will go to KidSport , a Canadian organization that helps break the financial barriers that prevent kids from playing organized sports by providing grants for sports registration and equipment.

Manoah clapped back at Montreal TSN 690 sports radio host Matthew Ross on September 13 after he left a negative comment on a video of Kirk running, apparently referencing his body type.

"It's cute and all, but also embarrassing for the sport," reads the since deleted tweet, according to MTL Blog. "Giving guys like this prominence feeds negative [baseball] stereotypes."

Manoah told Narcity he felt inclined to respond to the tweet because it came from a person with a verified account with a platform and public voice.

"I just felt like there was a need to kind of change his mind and open his mind on the comments he made," said Manoah.

Manoah took to Twitter and wrote back, "What's actually embarrassing for the sport is people that go by the name of Matthew and have never played a day in the big leagues thinking they can control the narrative and stereotypes. Go ahead and tell that 8 year old kid who is 10lbs overweight that he should quit now."

"Just step aside from the keyboard and let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness," Manoah continued in a follow-up tweet.

After a few replies back and forth, Ross issued an apology and deleted his tweets.

Despite the public confrontation, the Blue Jays player said he and Kirk "haven't really talked about" the Twitter situation afterwards.

"We're like brothers, and I know he has my back, and he knows I have his back," Manoah told Narcity.

He went on to say that the choice to donate the award money to KidSport was a "no brainer."

"I just believe they're a really good organization that gives the next generation of players a chance to play organized sports."

When it comes to the next generation of players that are going against the odds, Manoah said to keep following your heart and to "continue to do what you love, and continue to keep the boundaries on the outside and believe in yourself."

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.