Athletics Decide Not to Play Thursday as a Protest over Social Injustice, Systematic Racism

The Oakland Athletics players and staff opted not to play their Thursday game against the Texas Rangers, joining pro baseball, basketball and soccer organizations reacting to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. It's possible the game will be made up as part of a September doubleheader in Oakland.
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The Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers won’t play the final game of their scheduled four-game series Thursday night as part of a national professional sports protest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

The A’s confirmed the cancellation in a tweet. It’s likely the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader when the A’s host the Rangers Sept. 11-13.

The visual of Blake being shot in the back seven times by a uniformed police officer led to the Milwaukee Bucks saying they wouldn’t play their National Basketball Association playoff game, which was followed by the NBA shutting down the playoffs, at least for a day. On Thursday, a second day of NBA playoff games was scratched.

The WNBA followed suit, and did Major League Soccer, and three Major League baseball games were similarly postposed as part of the protest, the Reds and Brewers, the Mariners and Padres and the Dodgers and Giants.

Following suit on Thursday were the Phillies and Nationals and the A’s and Rangers while other teams, including the Red Sox, talked about it internally.

The A’s talked about sitting out Wednesday night, but decided they didn’t have enough time to full talk it out. They played, won 3-1, then said they would talk about it more on Thursday.

“We’re going to talk about it more as a group,” said A's manager Bob Melvin on Wednesday night in a video conference call. “Extensively as a group.”

Melvin and Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward talked about the possibility of a postponement before Wednesday’s game, Woodward saying that it was an open question with just 20 minutes to go before the first pitch.

“We did (have a discussion),” Melvin said of how the A’s clubhouse handled the matter. “You know, it was really close to game time, and we decided to play. I did give the option for anybody who didn’t feel comfortable playing not to play.

“But it was kind of too rushed when it came to us before we got together and everybody was pretty united, was united, in playing.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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