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MLB teams sit out game to protest Jacob Blake shooting

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Multiple MLB teams and players decided to sit out games Wednesday night in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds postponed their game in Milwaukee, roughly 40 miles from where Blake was shot in Kenosha, Wis., sharing statements that they wanted to spotlight racial injustice and inequality. 

The Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres also said they would be postponing their scheduled game in protest, as did the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

“Some things I think are just bigger than sports,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “And I don’t think it should require athletes needing to boycott playoff games to remind us Black Lives Matter and that police brutality is unacceptable and that systematic racism needs to be eliminated and what I believe in most is speaking out and taking strong action based on your beliefs.”

At least two other professional baseball players individually elected to sit out games Wednesday night in protest of the shooting, which has led to ongoing protests in Kenosha and elsewhere.

Matt Kemp, with the Colorado Rockies, posted on Instagram that he would not be playing in protest of “the injustices people of color continue to suffer.” And Jason Heyward, with the Chicago Cubs, also decided to sit out his team’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Heyward posted a photo on Instagram wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, with no caption. 

A series of postponements and boycotts across professionals sports leagues began earlier Wednesday in the NBA, when the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, calling for the officer who shot Blake seven times in the back to be held accountable — as well as for the Wisconsin legislature to return to session to address the matter.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association later announced that “in light of” the Bucks’ decision, two other playoff games scheduled for Wednesday would be postponed. 

Kapler said he has the utmost respect for the Bucks and players “refusing to be silent about issues that are bigger than sports.”

Former President Obama commended the Bucks for “standing up for what they believe in” by boycotting the game. 

Tags deaths in police custody Gabe Kapler Jacob Blake Major League Baseball MLB Police shootings Wisconsin
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