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Oakland A’s postpone Thursday game to raise awareness after Jacob Blake police shooting

Texas Rangers offer their full support

Los Angeles Angels v. Oakland Athletics Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s have postponed their scheduled game Thursday against the Texas Rangers.

This postponement stems from the shooting of unarmed Black man Jacob Blake in the back by Wisconsin police officers on Sunday, which sparked a boycott around the sports world.

The A’s released the following statement directly from their players:

Social injustice and systemic racism have been part of the fabric of our lives for too long. We have a responsibility to use our platform, to lend our voices for those who are not being heard.

We need to continue having the uncomfortable conversations and work towards being a unified force for change.

These conversations will push the boundaries and enable us to come through on the other side with impactful results.

All too often we hear about the plight of our fellow man and fail to act. It is long past due that these communities are being heard, seen, understood and supported.

We will not take the field tonight to help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future. This is the first step in our relentless pursuit for meaningful change.

- Oakland A’s Players

The Rangers offered a statement supporting the decision not to play, and announcing a makeup date for the game upon the A’s next visit to Arlington in September.

We respect the decision by the Oakland A’s players to postpone tonight’s game. We stand with all those who condemn racial injustice and are committed to helping bring about an end to systemic racism.

Tonight’s game will be rescheduled as part of a regular doubleheader on Saturday, September 12 with the first of two seven-inning games beginning at 4:05 PM CT at Globe Life Field.

The Blake shooting is the latest in a long string of recent police violence, especially toward Black Americans. In May, the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police was the catalyst for nationwide protests among citizens.

This week’s boycott began Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks elected to sit out their NBA playoff game, and other basketball teams followed suit until all three of the day’s games were postponed. Three MLB games were also called off Wednesday, including Brewers-Reds, Mariners-Padres, and Giants-Dodgers. Now the NHL, MLS, WNBA, and tennis have also announced cancellations, and in baseball the A’s-Rangers postponement is joined by Phillies-Nationals, Twins-Tigers, and Red Sox-Blue Jays.

The A’s played on Wednesday, as there wasn’t time before the game for the team to discuss the growing movement as a full group, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. They met for up to an hour after the game and came to a decision together regarding Thursday, per Slusser.

Oakland’s next game is scheduled for Friday in Houston, itself bringing the complication of Hurricane Laura, which forced the postponement of the Astros’ Wednesday contest. Fortunately, the storm is moving east and isn’t expected to get in the way of the A’s travel nor play, says Slusser.

Personal take: I would have supported the A’s either way in this decision. I agree with their message against social, criminal, and racial injustices, and this is a peaceful and powerful way to use their platform to protest against those issues. If they had decided to play through it, I would have respected that too.

(That quote originally by Sean Doolittle.)