Ahmaud Arbery case: MLB star Adam Wainwright serves lunch to Black pastors outside courthouse

MLB pitcher Adam Wainwright serves shrimp during the lunch break outside the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial on Thursday.
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MLB pitcher Adam Wainwright serves shrimp during the lunch break outside the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial on Thursday.

Credit: Asia Simone Burns / asia.burns@ajc.com

BRUNSWICK - The scores of Black clergy members who descended on Glynn County for a gathering outside the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial probably didn’t expect to see a Major League Baseball player serving their lunch.

But St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright stood among the dozens volunteers on Thursday, doling out freshly fried shrimp to the group of pastors, priests and reverends who came here following incendiary remarks by one of the defense attorneys.

ExploreAhmaud Arbery case: Black pastors expected to gather outside courthouse after attorney’s remarks

Wearing a camo hat and plastic gloves, the former World Series champion greeted every person who came through the line with their paper plates.

Wainwright, a Brunswick native and Glynn Academy graduate, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2000. The Braves traded him three years later to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal the Braves would regret. Wainwright has been one of the National League’s top starting pitchers during his 16-year-major league career, with a record of 184 wins and 105 losses. This past season, when he turned 40, he had one of his best years finishing with a record of 17-7 and a 3.05 earned run average.

Thursday’s rally and march was organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton and other activists following attorney Kevin Gough’s efforts to have Black pastors barred from the courtroom. Gough, who represents William “Roddie” Bryan in the trial over Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, has been widely criticized after telling the judge, “we don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here.”

Event organizers said more than 750 demonstrators were fed on Thursday and about 35 volunteers helped to distribute plates.