The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays have decided to cancel their Thursday night game following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha.
This cancellation follows the trend set by the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, when they refused to take the court for their playoff game. All NBA, WNBA, and MLS games were then postponed for Wednesday. Three MLB games then followed. The Brewers and Reds matchup was the first to be shut down. Kenosha is in the same state as Milwaukee, so just like the Bucks, the Milwaukee team was the first to boycott games. The Mariners Padres game was the next to be cancelled, possibly because the Mariners have more black players on their team than any other in the MLB. The Dodgers and Giants also decided not to play their game based largely on the decision of Mookie Betts who became the Dodgers leader on the matter.
The Red Sox did not meet as a team Wednesday to discuss the possibility of not playing. With a 6:37 P.M ET start, players were unaware of the Brewers’ decision to sit out until after the game had begun. However, following outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s decision to not play, the team stood with him in support. Bradley is the teams only African-American player and has been the most vocal in Zoom meetings and on Twitter about the team’s process. In his words, “I am the only Black person on this team, so I kind of feel like it’s my responsibility to address it.” It is unfortunate that he has to be the one to speak out for himself, but Bradley has done a great job of conveying his message. Sox manager Ron Roenicke has been in full support of Jackie and seems to be looking towards him for guidance.
What Comes Next
Athletes’ decision to not play has received a considerable amount of attention. The biggest message being sent is that the players care more about fighting racial injustice than their jobs and playing a game. However, sports will be back soon. The NBA Playoffs are likely to resume Friday or at some point over the weekend. MLB games will also be back Friday when the league plans to celebrate Jackie Robinson. Regardless, the boycott of sports is another thing unique to 2020 and shows the continued fight against racism in America.
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