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SF-LA decide not to play: 'Bigger than sports'

@mi_guardado
August 27, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants and Dodgers stood in solidarity with fellow MLB teams, deciding not to play at Oracle Park on Wednesday to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday. The NBA postponed its full slate of playoff games on Wednesday after the Bucks

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants and Dodgers stood in solidarity with fellow MLB teams, deciding not to play at Oracle Park on Wednesday to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday.

The NBA postponed its full slate of playoff games on Wednesday after the Bucks refused to take the court for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic. The Brewers, inspired by their fellow Milwaukee team, soon followed suit and voted unanimously to sit out their scheduled game against the Reds. The Mariners also announced that they would not play on Wednesday against the Padres.

The Dodgers and Giants released a joint statement supporting their players' decision:

"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 also released a statement in support of its teams on Wednesday night:

“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.”

All WNBA games and five of six MLS games scheduled for Wednesday were also postponed. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times by a police officer. He survived the shooting but is paralyzed from the waist down.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler opened his pregame Zoom session with reporters on Wednesday by expressing full support for the Bucks’ decision to take a stand and said the Giants were having team-wide conversations on how to proceed with their game against the Dodgers.

“Some things are bigger than sports, and I don’t think it should require athletes needing to boycott playoff games to remind us Black Lives Matter and that police brutality is unacceptable and that systemic racism needs to be eliminated,” Kapler said. “What I believe in most is speaking out and taking strong action based on your beliefs.

Kapler: Movement has to 'continue in perpetuity'

“I have the utmost respect for the players who are refusing to be silent about issues that are bigger than sports. Racism and police brutality are issues that we’re not going to be silent about, either.”

Kapler and several Giants players, including Mike Yastrzemski, Pablo Sandoval, Mauricio Dubón, Austin Slater, Trevor Gott and Chadwick Tromp, have been kneeling for the national anthem this year to protest police brutality and systemic racism in America following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May.

Dodgers star Mookie Betts also took a knee during the national anthem on Opening Day. Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw, who was scheduled to oppose Kevin Gausman on Wednesday, has also been outspoken in being more active in the fight against racial injustice and prominently appeared in the Dodgers’ “In this Together” video last month.

The Dodgers committed to matching funds raised by T-shirts bearing the slogan, with all proceeds benefiting the California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Southern California: Our Kids, Our Future Fund (CFBMoC).

Wednesday's game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday beginning at 1:05 p.m. PT, and both games will be seven-inning regulation contests.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.