The Dodgers and Giants won’t play their scheduled game on Wednesday night, which marks one of three MLB games postponed on Wednesday amid protests throughout the sports world involving racial injustice.
“Throughout our country’s history, sport has been a powerful vehicle towards change,” both teams said in a joint statement. “The Dodgers and Giants proudly join our players in the shared goal for a more equitable and just society.”
All three NBA playoff games were postponed on Wednesday, initially spurred by the Milwaukee Bucks choosing not to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic, three days after Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday.
“The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on racial injustices that are happening in front of us,” Bucks ownership group said in a statement. “Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”
Shortly after, the Rockets-Thunder and Lakers-Blazers playoff games were also postponed.
Clayton Kershaw, Wednesday’s scheduled starter for the Dodgers, was one of several Dodgers in a video released in July speaking out against racial injustice.
“Silence is no longer an option. I’m fighting for my teammates, their families, and their communities,” Kershaw said in the video. “And that is why we must unapologetically that say Black lives matter.”
“Given the pain in the communities of Wisconsin and beyond following the shooting of Jacob Blake, we respect the decisions of a number of players not to play tonight,” MLB said in a statement Wednesday. “Major League Baseball remains united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice.”
Giants manager Gabe Kapler earlier Wednesday told reporters he would support whatever collective action his team decided, but didn’t say whether the team would formally vote on whether to play. From Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News:
“I respect everybody’s right to express themselves with respect to our team and the Dodgers, I’ll always stand with our players and staff on what they choose to do collectively,” Kapler said. “My individual actions are to combine both peaceful protesting with meaningful positive action to promote real change.”
The Reds and Brewers decided earlier Wednesday not to play their game in Milwaukee, the first MLB team to opt not to play. In a statement the Brewers said, “The players from the Brewers and Reds have decided to not play tonight’s baseball game. With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to draw as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression.”
There are serious issues in this country. For me, and for many of my teammates, the injustices, violence, death and systemic racism is deeply personal. This is impacting not only my community, but very directly my family and friends. Our team voted unanimously not to play tonight— Dee Gordon (@FlashGJr) August 26, 2020
Individually, Jason Heyward was a “healthy scratch” for the Cubs, and Dexter Fowler was a late scratch from the Cardinals lineup. St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty, who pitched Monday, also sat out Wednesday with Fowler in solidarity with other MLB players.
Matt Kemp said on Instagram he wouldn’t play in the Rockies’ game on Wednesday, citing “I will be protesting tonight’s game in honor of all of my fallen brothers and sisters at the hands of police brutality.”
The WNBA and MLS also postponed all their games Wednesday, after similar player-led movements.