The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics will not take the field on Thursday night, sources confirm with SI.com's Inside The Rangers. The decision to not play is centered around the ongoing protests throughout the sports world in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Oakland A's posted a statement from their players on social media:
The Rangers responded with an official statement, supporting the decision of the A's:
There was already speculation whether the Rangers and A's would play after Oakland players did not make themselves available for Wednesday night's postgame Zoom calls with the media.
“We’re going to talk about it more as a group,” said A's manager Bob Melvin on Wednesday night. “Extensively as a group.”
Wednesday night's game was also in considerable doubt as close as 20 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch. Rangers manager Chris Woodward said the Rangers collectively talked as a group and were ready to play, but would honor the wishes of the Oakland A's if they decided not to play. After a conversation with Melvin, the Rangers and A's proceeded to play their scheduled game on Wednesday.
“We did (have a discussion),” Melvin said. “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.”
Now after having some time to reflect on the situation, it is clear either one or both teams decided to not take the field on Thursday evening.
The Rangers are set to welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to Globe Life Field on Friday for a three-game series over the weekend. Friday, August 28 is set to be the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, which is normally observed on April 15, but was moved for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a developing story. We will update as we gather more information.