The games Athletics-Rangers, Phillies-Nationals, Twins-Tigers, Red Sox-Blue Jays, Rockies-Diamondbacks and Orioles-Rays have been postponed to Thursday night, with possibly more to follow.
The action follows three games postponed Wednesday as players across the sports landscape react to 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 the game. That drew a sharp rebuke from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, whose team played the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Flaherty tweeted, “WE ARE THE ONLY SPORT PLAYING TODAY LET THAT SINK,” before later deleting the tweet. He also addressed the situation in a Zoom call with reporters.
“Yesterday would have been the day for action in the league. It could not have happened. Hopefully it could have happened today, but it does not seem like it can happen today,” Flaherty said. “… It sucks because you’re looking for it to be a uniform thing.”
All day long, the Red Sox strongly considered not playing to protest social injustice, ESPN sources Jeff Passan said, and were in communication with the Blue Jays because both teams supported each other.
“The ongoing police brutality and social inequality demand immediate attention and focus from all of us – not just Black Americans and Canadians,” the Red Sox and Blue Jays said in a joint statement. “We fully respect our players’ decision to further raise awareness of the systemic racism that contributes to police violence against blacks, natives and people of color in our communities. We look forward to returning to the field, and using our strongest platform , our game, to reinforce our message and demand meaningful change. “
The Twins and Tigers will make up the game on Thursday as part of a double-header on Friday, the teams announced.
“The recent shooting of Jacob Blake, just three months after the assassination of George Floyd, shows once again that real change is needed and is far too late in our country, and it is our responsibility to continue to play a role in efforts to make sense. to influence reform, ”the Twins said in a statement.
Blake was shot seven times Sunday by police as he tried to enter the side door of the driver of his car with three of his children inside. Video of the shooting was circulated on social media, prompting more protests and causing or speaking out for more athletes.
The Athletics published a tweet from the players, in which they said that they are not playing “to help raise awareness for these social problems, not only tonight, but for our collective future.”
Of the Oakland A’s players pic.twitter.com/0JEDBmuL8Z
– Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 27, 2020
The Rangers also tweeted about the proposal, saying they respected the Athletics players’ decision.
The Phillies issued a statement saying the decision to call Thursday’s game was one made with the Nationals.
“We support their decision to use their platform to raise awareness of the racial and social injustices that continue to exist in our country,” the Phillies statement said. “We will continue to stand behind our players and those on the front lines who work to generate accountability and real change in our society.”
Games called out Wednesday were games between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
Milwaukee’s Lorenzo Cain was asked what he thought MLB pioneer Jackie Robinson would think about what’s going on about social injustice in today’s society.
“I think he would be surprised at the lack of progress,” Cain said. “The fact that I’m on a Zoom call and talking about it here in 2020, I do not see progress. It’s almost like going backwards.”
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said Colorado felt the team “missed it yesterday.”
“By playing and we wanted to stand by our brother Matthew [Kemp] and the Black community, “Arenado said.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and Pedro Gomez contributed to this report.