By Jorge Castillo
Los Angeles Times
The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants elected not to play their scheduled game Wednesday at Oracle Park to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis.
The decision came after two major league games and the NBA’s three scheduled playoff games Wednesday were postponed out of protest.
The game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds was the first in the majors to not be played. The Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres soon followed.
The Mariners, who lead the majors with seven Black players, voted not to play. The Padres then agreed. The Brewers, who play their home games 35 miles from Kenosha, initiated the postponement of their game after a team vote. The Reds also agreed. By both teams agreeing in all three games, none are classified as forfeits.
At least two players — former Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (now with the Colorado Rockies) and Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward — chose not to play despite their teams proceeding. Both players are Black. Kemp announced his decision on Instagram. Heyward reportedly supported his teammates playing.
The protests arose after a video captured a police officer shooting Blake, 29, seven times in the back Sunday as he entered a car with his three children inside. Blake survived, but his lawyer Tuesday announced he was paralyzed and remained in intensive care.
The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks were the first time to protest by not taking the court for their scheduled Game 5 of the first round against the Orlando Magic. Soon after, the NBA announced all three of its game scheduled for Wednesday were postponed.
In San Francisco, Dodgers reliever Caleb Ferguson told reporters in a videoconference call Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. that the team hadn’t discussed whether to play.
Both clubs took the field for pregame warmups but walked off the diamond just before 4 p.m., according to local reports, after members of the Giants brass met with veteran reliever Tony Watson, the club’s union rep. The Giants had batting practice scheduled for 4 p.m. on the field. The Dodgers then held a meeting to make their decision.