Twins postpone matinee game vs. Red Sox after Minnesota police shooting of Daunte Wright
The Minnesota Twins have postponed the Monday matinee against the Boston Red Sox following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a Black man, in Brooklyn Center the day prior.
The #MNTwins and Red Sox have officially postponed today's game in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center yesterday. pic.twitter.com/AviSsvYbql
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 12, 2021
The Twins released the following statement:
"Out of respect for the tragic events that occurred yesterday in Brooklyn Center, and following the additional details in this evolving situation, the Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interests of our fans, staff, players and community to not play today's game.
"The decision was made by the Minnesota Twins after consultation with Major League Baseball, and local and state officials. Information regarding the rescheduling of today's game, and corresponding ticket details, will be released in the near future.
"The Minnesota Twins organization extends its sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright."
Wright was shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday. It has sparked protests in the city of Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Police Department is about eight miles from Target Field. The trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd's death, is also ongoing.
Brooklyn Center Police Department is about 8 miles from Target Field, where the Red Sox and Twins were supposed to begin play 5 minutes ago. https://t.co/Tls5hTuvgp
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) April 12, 2021
First pitch in the four-game series at Minnesota's Target Field was scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET, but a press conference on the shooting began about an hour before the scheduled start and gave more details on the Sunday afternoon incident.
Both teams had taken the field and were warming up, per reports. The national anthem had already been played when the game was postponed for non-weather related reasons. On a Zoom with reporters after announcing the decision, Twins President Dave St. Peter said that in the wake of information that has come to light over the past 24 hours, "playing a baseball game today felt a little less important."
Twins President Dave St. Peter on zoom just now: "Our community's been through a lot, and we have a trial taking place just blocks away from Target Field. Emotions across our community, emotions across our organization, are raw."
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) April 12, 2021
St. Peter, echoing the statement, said the team postponed the game out of respect for the Wright family, and also factored in public safety concerns.
"But I can assure you the decision was not made in a silo, it was made after a consultation with a variety of individuals and organizations including local and state law enforcement, local and state leaders, Major League Baseball, and the Boston Red Sox, and at the end of the day, we came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was for us to not play today," St. Peter said. "Rooted in respect for the Wright family, but also rooted in, in our mind the safety of all of those involved with today's game against the Red Sox, Our fans, our staff, our players in the broader community."
The Twins are permitted to have fans at 25 percent capacity, which is about 10,000 fans at Target Field.
Minnesota fatal shooting of Daunte Wright
Police said in a statement they pulled a man over for a traffic violation shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday and found the driver, later identified as Wright, had an outstanding arrest warrant. As police tried to arrest him, he got back in the car. One officer shot the man, who drove several blocks before striking another vehicle, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Protests erupted in Minnesota. The shooting occurred around 14 miles from where Floyd was killed by police last May. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets during the demonstrations over night and the National Guard was mobilized. A curfew was also ordered.
Police held a press conference on Monday and released body camera video of the incident. It showed an officer attempting to handcuff Wright outside of the vehicle. The man suddenly jumps back inside and an officer is heard yelling "taser!" three times. Police said the officer who shot Wright accidentally drew a handgun instead of a taser.
No firm plans for rest of Red Sox-Twins series
The Twins do not have answers for how the rest of the scheduled four-game series will go, but said there have not been discussions about moving the games to Boston.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said there were not calls from players to postpone Monday's game, though the shooting was a topic of discussion within the team.
"I didn't hear of any specific conversation about not playing but I do know that some of our players were very aware of what was going on in Brooklyn Center and that there was a lot of discussion also in the coach's room today about what was going on, how the organization would react to it," Baldelli said. "But also acknowledging that we have a very wide ranging group of guys in our clubhouse. I'm sure that there were some that are very aware of all the details, how it relates to the emotions in the community, how things can happen when there are incidents like this. And I'm sure that there were members of our group that were probably waking up today simply unaware, or just simply getting ready for the game today. So you know, obviously by now everyone is fully aware of what has happened. And again, we'll be on our toes and ready to react going forward."
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