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Mariners join sports strike to protest racial injustice

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Team will not play tonight in San Diego; doubleheader tomorrow likely

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In a historic move for both the franchise and for baseball, the Mariners have opted not to play tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres as a show of protest against police brutality.

Following the shooting of Jacob Blake, who police in Kenosha, WI, shot seven times in the back on Sunday, as well as the murder and shooting of protestors by a white teenager carrying an AR-15 who was reportedly abetted in his actions by the police, today the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA did not take the floor for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The Magic did not accept the Bucks’ forfeiture of the game (meaning they would have gotten the win by default), and after another strike from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, the league officially announced that today’s NBA playoff games were postponed. The WNBA is also not playing any games tonight after their players opted to strike.

Following suit, the Milwaukee Brewers also opted to not play their game against the Reds tonight.

Reportedly, the decision was unanimous among both Milwaukee and Cincinnati’s players.

The Mariners have the league’s largest contingent of Black players, most of whom have been outspoken about racial injustice and Black Lives Matter for the past several months. Tonight one of those players, Taijuan Walker, was scheduled to make the start, and J.P. Crawford, Kyle Lewis, and Shed Long were all in the starting lineup.

(Uncredited, but the art in Dee’s post was created by Justin Dunn’s partner Kaliya Johnson.)

The media was set to have a 3:40 PM session with Scott Servais but was notified shortly before it began that it would be rescheduled. At the same time, this picture was posted on Twitter:

And while the Padres were on the field, the Mariners remained in the visitor’s clubhouse, including some relievers who had been out in the bullpen but then joined the rest of the team. About a half an hour later, Mariners staff came to remove the Mariners equipment that was on the field. The Mariners’ player captains (Marco Gonzales, Dee Gordon, and Kyle Seager) met with the Padres’ player captains (Manny Machado, Austin Hedges, and Tommy Pham) shortly after that:

Shortly after that, news broke that the Mariners had told the Padres their players had voted against playing tonight. Team captain Dee Gordon made the announcement on his Twitter:

No announcement has been made yet regarding when the game will be made up, but we’ll update this post when we hear about it. Right now a doubleheader tomorrow seems like a likely outcome. The Mariners have yet to release an official team statement, but we will update the post with that as well, when it becomes available. The Lookout Landing staff unanimously supports the right of the players to protest and make their voices heard on this important issue.

Update, 5:10 PM: Team statement

Update, 5:30 PM: It looks like tonight’s game will be made up in the form of a doubleheader tomorrow.

If you’re interested in taking action of your own:

Sign a petition demanding justice for Jacob Blake and his family.

Contact the Kenosha District Attorney, Michael Gravely, by e-mail at michael.gravely@di.wi.gov, or call the DA’s office at 262-653-2400. Say you want charges pressed against the officers involved in shooting Jacob Blake. Or, find a template for what to say here.

Contact the mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramian, by e-mail at mayor@kenosha.org or call the office at 262-653-4000.

Contact the Kenosha Chief of Police at dgm398@kenoshapolice.com. Say you want the officers involved in shooting Jacob Blake seven times in front of his three children fired.

Call the Wisconsin Department of Justice at 608-266-1221.

Donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund here.

And while you’re at it: Breonna Taylor’s family is still awaiting justice for her murder at the hands of police back in March. Find a list of action items for Breonna here.

And as always, the best way to make your voice heard is to vote. Check your voter registration to make sure it’s up to date here and if you aren’t registered in Washington, you can do so here.