OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland A’s announced the team would not take the field Thursday evening, joining the growing protests in pro sports leagues to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
The team postponed its game against the Texas Rangers Thursday evening and tweeted a statement that afternoon explaining their decision.
“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,” the statement read.
From the players of the Oakland A’s pic.twitter.com/0JEDBmuL8Z
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 27, 2020
A police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot the unarmed 29-year-old Blake in the back seven times while he tried to enter his vehicle after involving himself a domestic dispute Sunday. Footage of the incident, along with reports that three of his sons were in the vehicle and watched the officer shoot him, set off a firestorm of protests.
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Teams from the NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS all announced their refusal to play Wednesday, including the San Francisco Giants and the San Jose Earthquakes, beginning after NBA players said they would boycott their Wednesday playoff games to protest racial injustice. The NBA and WNBA said Thursday’s games would also be postponed, and the NBA said Thursday it was “hopeful” its playoff games would resume Friday or Saturday.
Oakland Manager Bob Melvin said his team had discussed whether to take the field Wednesday, but “it was really close to game time” and they decided to play. Melvin still gave players the option to sit out if they didn’t feel comfortable taking the field.
“It was just kind of too rushed when it came to us before we got together, and everybody was pretty united in playing.,” Melvin said. “Our guys said, we’re going to play tonight, and tomorrow we’ll discuss it as a group. … They wanted to be united as a group in what we did.”
The A’s beat the Rangers 3-1 Wednesday and now have an American League’s best record at 22-10.