SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Jose Earthquakes and San Francisco Giants have joined the growing boycott by professional sports players over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
The Earthquakes were scheduled to play Wednesday evening at Avaya Stadium against the Portland Timbers, the first pro sports game of any kind in Santa Clara County since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Breaking news: Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes players have boycotted tonight’s scheduled game at Avaya Stadium per an Earthquakes source.
— Len Ramirez (@lenKPIX) August 27, 2020
The Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were scheduled to play Wednesday night’s game at Oracle Park. Earlier Wednesday, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds agreed not to play their game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, and players on the Seattle Mariners voted to not play in their game tonight against the San Diego Padres.
Players had expressed solidarity with the National Basketball Association players boycotting their playoff games in protest over a police officer shooting Blake multiple times in the back at close range in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.
Wednesday evening, the Giants and the Dodgers issued a joint statement, saying “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.”
Major League Baseball issued a statement Wednesday evening, saying, “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 stoppages grew across the pro sports world Wednesday after all three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.
The Golden State Warriors issued a statement late Wednesday, saying, “We support NBA players in taking actions designed to shad light and send a loud clear message: enough is enough. We are united in our stance against racial injustice.”
Games were called off between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.
WNBA teams also joined in the boycott. Three games scheduled Wednesday – Atlanta Dream against Washington Mystics, LA Sparks versus Minnesota Lynx, and Connecticut Sun versus Phoenix Mercury – were all postponed.
The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks — the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man — didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic. The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.
Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Blake. More discussions among players on teams still in the bubble were scheduled Wednesday, presumably on how — or if — to go forward with the season, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act.
“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”
Added Jeanie Buss, the Governor of the Lakers, in a tweet: “I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough.”
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.