The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have agreed not to play their scheduled game on Wednesday at Oracle Park in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The decision follows an unprecedented day in sports that began inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, when players from the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor in protest of the Blake shooting.
Soon thereafter, the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trail Blazers all joined the Bucks in solidarity, refusing to play their scheduled playoff games.
The ripple effect of the protests and postponement of games reached Major League Baseball and other sports as well when the Milwaukee Brewers, joined their NBA brothers by announcing that they would not play in their game on Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
"The players from the Brewers and Reds have decided to not play tonight's baseball game," players from both teams said in a shared statement. "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."
The WNBA followed by cancelling their scheduled games and Major League Soccer announced later in the evening that all games scheduled for Wednesday would also be postponed.
The NHL opted to play their two scheduled playoff games on Wednesday, but held a moment of silence before each game in solidarity with the Black community and with a message to end racism.
Blake was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin after attempting to enter the driver's side door of his vehicle with his three children inside. Video of the shooting circulated on social media leading to outrage by many athletes across all professional sports.
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“If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and you’re lying to not only me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community because we see it over and over and over,” said Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James. “If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where if they wanted to they could’ve tackled him. They could’ve grabbed him. They could’ve done that.
“Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing? His family is there, the kids are there, it’s in broad daylight … It’s just, quite frankly it’s just f--ked up in our community.”
Prior to the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, sources said that a team meeting was called around 4:00PM PT to discuss whether or not players should play in the game.
Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers scheduled starter on Wednesday, has been very outspoken about racial inequality in recent months and has been an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement. His newest teammate, Mookie Betts, kneeled during the national anthem on Opening Day.
Ironically, that Opening Day game was also against the Giants, and many players on the team kneeled as well, including Giants manager Gabe Kapler. Kapler, President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, and numerous players met on the field before the game, before leaving to hold a meeting of their own inside the clubhouse.