SEA doesn't play vs. SD: 'It's deeply personal'

August 27th, 2020

The Mariners-Padres game at Petco Park in San Diego on Wednesday was postponed after Seattle’s players voted not to play in response to the civil unrest being raised following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday.

The Mariners have 11 African American players on their 40-man roster and eight on their active 28-man Major League roster-- the most of any Major League team -- and have been active as an organization in promoting the Black Lives Matter movement since George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked nationwide calls for social justice and racial equality in late May.

Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon said in a tweet that the vote was unanimous and explained the rationale.

“There are serious issues in this country,” Gordon said. “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.

“Instead of watching us, we hope people will focus on the things more important than sports that are happening.”

The Mariners tweeted a message of support for their players:

“The Seattle Mariners respect the team’s decision to not play tonight’s game. The Seattle Mariners stand with our players as they speak out with their words and actions against social injustice. #BlackLivesMatter”

Earlier in the evening, the Brewers and Reds also decided not to play and their game was postponed, and the Dodgers-Giants game in San Francisco also was postponed.

The athlete protests began earlier on Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor against the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of their playoff series as a protest against police brutality in the wake of the shooting of Blake. The 29-year-old Black man was shot seven times and is paralyzed from the waist down.

The NBA and WNBA subsequently postponed all of the games scheduled for Wednesday. Five MLS games were also postponed.

The Mariners voted as a team and then discussed the situation with Padres players about two and a half hours before Wednesday’s scheduled first pitch of 6:10 p.m. PT.

The Padres issued their own statement: “We understand the Mariners’ decision to postpone tonight’s game and we support the players’ efforts to use their platform to bring awareness to the very serious issue of racial injustice impacting our country today.”

The uncertainty of the situation came to the forefront when the Mariners announced that manager Scott Servais’ scheduled 3:40 p.m. PT online media call was being postponed. A short time later, Gordon confirmed the team had voted not to play and a number of Mariners posted supportive messages for the decision on social media.

The game will be made up on Thursday as part of a doubleheader starting at 12:10 p.m. PT as the two teams close out their three-game series. The Mariners won the series opener 8-3 on Tuesday. Both of Thursday’s games will be seven innings, as per this year’s rules regarding doubleheaders.