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Elephant Rumblings: 3 MLB games postponed Wednesday to protest police shooting of Jacob Blake

MLB news roundup

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MLB: AUG 26 Reds at Brewers

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Three scheduled MLB games weren’t played on Wednesday, in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last Sunday. Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times in the back by officers.

The Milwaukee Brewers, who call the state of Wisconsin home, chose not to play on Wednesday. Their opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, agreed to postpone the game. The Seattle Mariners later voted not to play their game against the San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants’ matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers was also postponed.

“Tonight wasn’t the night for baseball,” Milwaukee reliever Brent Suter said via insider Adam McCalvy. The Brewers released a statement supporting their players’ decision, as did the Mariners.

“I think it’s an enormous stand. It’s more than sports, and they showed it. It’s not about the game; it’s more than that. And this is a time where we need to really not stay quiet and show our power and our voices,” said Brewers reliever Josh Hader, via insider Alyson Footer.

Reds reliever Amir Garrett offered his support of Milwaukee’s decision on Twitter: “Proud of my organization @Reds and also the @Brewers we were able to come together and make a decision not to play. We stand in solidarity today and I am very proud. We need change, and we need it now. #BlacklivesMatter.”

Mariners player Dee Gordon said the following, via insider Greg Johns:

“There are serious issues in this country,” Gordon said. “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.

“Instead of watching us, we hope people will focus on the things more important than sports that are happening.”

The Dodgers and Giants released a joint statement:

“Throughout our country’s history, sport has been a powerful vehicle towards change. The Dodgers and Giants proudly join our players in the shared goal for a more equitable and just society.”

MLB said the following in support of its players:

“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. Major League Baseball remains united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice.”

The Brewers are “likely to play [Thursday],” says manager Craig Counsell (via Jeff Passan, ESPN). Mariners-Padres and Dodgers-Giants will be made up as doubleheaders Thursday.

A few individual players also withdrew themselves from their teams’ games, including Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Kemp, and two members of the St. Louis Cardinals, outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitcher Jack Flaherty, reports Footer.

The Oakland A’s played the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. Manager Bob Melvin said the following, via Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle: “It was really close to game time. And we decided to play. I did give the option for anybody who did not feel comfortable playing not to play. ... [The players] wanted to be united as a group in what we did ... Our guys said, look, we’re going to play tonight and tomorrow we’ll discuss it as a group.”

These MLB postponements were preceded by similar decisions in the NBA. Three playoff games were scheduled for the day but none of them were played, with the Milwaukee Bucks being the first team to elect to boycott.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the following:

Emotions are raw, players were already worn out of bubble environment prior to the Jacob Blake shooting and sources say discussions within teams are ongoing about postponing tomorrow’s three games too — and beyond. “The season is in jeopardy,” one vet player here tells ESPN.

The scoreboard at Oracle Park on Wednesday:

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