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MLB Teams Join NBA in Game Boycotts to Protest Jacob Blake Shooting

At least six baseball teams decided not to play Wednesday following earlier boycotts by NBA clubs including the Milwaukee Bucks

At least six MLB teams have postponed their own games Wednesday night in response to a now-growing boycott movement among professional sports teams that are protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake.

The six teams are the Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, all of which were scheduled to play eachother (three games in total have canceled so far). The shooting of Blake happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Brewers were the first MLB team to decide not to play Wednesday night, following the lead of their NBA counterparts the Milwaukee Bucks, whose refusal to play Wednesday afternoon sparked the movement.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bucks refused to come out to the court for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA eventually postponed all three games on Wednesday as a result of the protest. Those games will be rescheduled. The WNBA has also said it will not play any games on Wednesday night.

On Sunday, Blake was shot in the back by a police officer seven times while walking away from them after breaking up a fight. Blake reportedly is paralyzed by the gunshot wounds, his family’s attorney told the Associated Press. The shooting has led to protests in Kenosha over another Black man being shot by police.

None of the teams or any MLB officials have publicly addressed the boycotts. The Mariners’ Dee Gordon wrote about the decision on his Twitter account:

“There are serious issues in this country. 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.”

Tennis pro Naomi Osaka, who is of mixed Black/Japanese heritage, tweeted that she would not be playing in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in protest of the Blake shooting.

“As many of you are aware I was scheduled to play my semifinals match tomorrow. However before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” the former top-ranked player wrote. Following Osaka’s decision, the U.S. Tennis Association, Women’s Tennis Association and ATP Tour have suspended Thursday’s tournament play.