More players and teams around Major League Baseball are walking out of their games scheduled for Thursday to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Six MLB games have been postponed with others possibly on the way. The Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies chose not to play Thursday, according to various reports. The Baltimore Orioles-Tampa Bay Rays game was also postponed minutes before first pitch, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
The Phillies were scheduled to play the Nationals, but the Nationals issued a statement saying the two teams decided not to play. The decision in the A’s-Rangers game came from the A’s and Twins players voted not to play their game against the Tigers. As did the Red Sox, according to Julian McWilliams of The Athletic, and the Rockies, according to a team statement.
The decisions come a day after the Brewers, Reds, Dodgers, Giants, Padres and Mariners didn’t play. The Brewers and Mariners specifically started the protests in baseball — as the Brewers play 40 miles away from where Blake was shot and the Mariners have the most Black players in MLB.
The Philliies, A’s and Twins were the first teams to raise their voices Thursday, but don’t figure to be the last. There are discussions around the league, according to various reports, about teams postponing games in protest.
The A’s released a statement from the players Thursday calling the decision a “first step in our relentless pursuit for meaningful change.”
The Rockies were among the teams that played on Wednesday night despite outfielder Matt Kemp making the personal choice to sit out. Shortstop Trevor Story said it was a missed opportunity to support their teammate, and that led them to not playing on Thursday.
The Mets considering not playing Thursday as well, according to Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty.
Players Alliance announces salary donations
The MLB Players Alliance — a group of about 100 former and current Black MLB players formed during this time of civil unrest — announced Thursday that its members will be donating its salaries from Thursday’s and Friday’s games to help combat racial inequality and aid Black families impacted by recent events.
MLB players taking cues from the NBA
The protests in baseball come after similar protests arose in the NBA on Wednesday night. The Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play their postseason game in protest, but the entire league eventually followed. The WNBA did the same.
Some NBA players wanted to initially pull the plug on their entire postseason bubble, but players voted Thursday to keep their postseason going.
More MLB players speaking out
More baseball players have lent their voice to the right against racial injustice after the Jacob Blake shooting. On Wednesday, players such as Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Jack Flaherty and Matt Kemp opted not to play even though their teams did.
We haven’t heard of any such cases yet for Thursday, but players have been using their interviews and social-media platforms to speak up.
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