The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers have decided to not participate in a scheduled game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday evening following the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, who is black, during an altercation with police officers.
“The players from the Brewers and Reds have decided to not play tonight’s baseball game. With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to draw as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial and systemic oppression,” said the Brewers in a joint statement.
From the players of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds: pic.twitter.com/qkhH4AmBKm
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 26, 2020
The MLB game was slated to happen at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about 40 miles from the city of Kenosha, where Blake was shot seven times by a police officer on Sunday.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, “viral video shows some of the incident, but notably depicts Blake reaching down into the open driver side door of a gray SUV as a Kenosha police officer holds the back of his shirt.”
During a press conference late Wednesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) said that officers “deployed a taser” while trying to arrest Blake, but “the taser was not successful in stopping him,” and Blake proceeded to walk “around his vehicle, open the driver side door, and lean forward,” according to a clip of the press conference posted by Mid-Michigan Now.
According to the attorney general, police officer Rustin Sheskey, a 7-year veteran of the force, then shot Blake seven times in the back. The attorney general also said Blake told police that he had a knife, and investigators recovered a knife from the driver’s side of his car.
— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) August 26, 2020
Kenosha has since been engulfed in several nights of violent unrest, and earlier Wednesday, police arrested a 17-year-old suspect for allegedly fatally shooting two people and leaving another person seriously injured.
The Brewers game cancellation comes after the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott the playoffs game against the Orlando Magic for purportedly similar reasons. In a subsequent statement, the NBA revealed that none of the three games scheduled for Wednesday evening would happen as planned.
NBA players from more than one team have reportedly been “raising questions” about the possibility of stalling games amidst the shooting of Blake, according to The Washington Post.
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told reporters on Tuesday that “at some point we’re going to have to put our nuts on the line and actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility,” reports the news agency.
Ahead of the cancelled Bucks game, Lakers star LeBron James tweeted: “F*** THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.”
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020