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Major League Baseball players extended their strike for social justice to a second day, as games between the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers will not be played as scheduled Thursday.
Additionally, according to ESPN, the Boston Red Sox will be meeting to determine whether to play their game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo.
The two called-off games brings to 10 the number of MLB teams joining in solidarity with the NBA by sitting out in protest of police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of the Kenosha (Wisc.) police shooting of Jacob Blake in the back.
In announcing Thursday’s postponement, the A’s included a message from their players that concluded: “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.”
NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that Phillies players held a meeting at their hotel Thursday and decided not to play, apparently without any input from the Nationals.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Twins players voted not to play Thursday.
The six teams that sat out Wednesday – the Brewers and Reds, Padres and Mariners and Dodgers and Giants – all had doubleheaders scheduled Thursday to make up Wednesday’s lost game.
It was the Brewers – based about 40 miles from Kenosha, and following the lead of the Milwaukee Bucks – who first decided to sit out, with the Reds supporting their decision Wednesday evening. At the point those postponements were announced, several games were on the verge of starting, including Washington and Philadelphia.
After the Phillies’ 3-2 victory, manager Joe Girardi and outfielder Bryce Harper said the club did not discuss a possible protest before the game, though Girardi said he’d support such an action.
“I would tell them, go with their heart,” Girardi said. “Feelings are feelings. They’re never right or wrong, they’re just feelings. You gotta go with your heart. I would support them whatever they did.”