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.
Emotions are raw, players were already worn out of bubble environment prior to the Jacob Blake shooting and sources say discussions within teams are ongoing about postponing tomorrow's three games too -- and beyond. "The season is in jeopardy," one vet player here tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
The Reds have agreed not to play as well. No forfeit situation. Both teams have agreed to sit out tonight’s game. https://t.co/BZJAg8GujJ— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) August 26, 2020
Reportedly, the decision was unanimous among both Milwaukee and Cincinnati’s players.
A source tells https://t.co/e8tXe3x8Cj that Brewers and Reds players decided unanimously not to play tonight at Miller Park.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 26, 2020
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.
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We aren’t talking about an organization when we scream, cheer, and chant BLACK LIVES MATTER...we are speaking the Black lost over these last 400 years...our friends and families lives who ARE NOT “Athletes” or the “Elite” Black people who lives matter because we are on your team or “the nicest black person” you’ve ever met...we are scared for our children and our family members everyday! This is why we say BLACK LIVES MATTER because to us...they do!
(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:
Mariners manager Scott Servais just came out onto the field and is meeting with Jayce Tingler pic.twitter.com/p6nmYwpthL— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) August 26, 2020
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:
Marco, Dee, and Seager talking with Tommy Pham, Manny Machado, and Austin Hedges. pic.twitter.com/NlViB9aDxW— Aaron Goldsmith (@heygoldy) August 26, 2020
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:
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— Dee Gordon (@FlashGJr) August 26, 2020
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.
The expectation is the Padres and Mariners will play a pair of seven-inning games beginning at 1:10 p.m. tomorrow.— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) August 27, 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com or call the office at 262-653-4000.
Contact the Kenosha Chief of Police at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.