Thursday night’s game between the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers has been postponed, with multiple reports also saying the contest between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies has been called off.
The Athletics released a tweet from the players, in which they said they were not playing “to help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future.”
From the players of the Oakland A’s pic.twitter.com/0JEDBmuL8Z
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 27, 2020
The Rangers also tweeted about the postponement, saying they respected the decision of the Athletics players.
In addition, Boston Red Sox players have strongly considered not playing Thursday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays to protest against social injustice, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The teams are talking and have offered each other support regardless of whether they decide to play.
The action follows three games being postponed on Wednesday as players across the sports landscape reacted in the wake of the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin.
But the majority of Major League Baseball games remained on the schedule Thursday as the NBA, WNBA and NHL all postponed play. That drew a sharp rebuke from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, whose team was playing the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Flaherty tweeted, “WE ARE THE ONLY SPORT PLAYING TODAY LET THAT SINK IN,” before later deleting the tweet. He also addressed the situation in a Zoom call with reporters.
“Yesterday would have been the day for leaguewide action. It wasn’t able to happen. Hopefully it could happen today, but it doesn’t seem like it’s able to happen today,” Flaherty said. “… It sucks because you look for it to be a unified thing.”
Blake was shot seven times by police Sunday as he attempted to enter the driver’s side door of his vehicle with three of his children inside. Video of the shooting was distributed on social media, sparking more protests and causing more athletes to speak out or take action.
Milwaukee’s Lorenzo Cain was asked what he thought MLB pioneer Jackie Robinson would think of what was going on regarding social injustice in today’s society.
“I think he would be amazed at the lack of progress,” Cain said. “The fact that I’m on a Zoom call and talking about this in 2020, I don’t see the progress. It’s almost like going backwards.”
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.