Brewers, Reds Agree Not to Play Wednesday to Protest Jacob Blake Shooting

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 26, 2020

Miller Park is seen Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Brewers are scheduled to host their home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds have decided not to play Wednesday night's scheduled contest following the Milwaukee Bucks' refusal to play a postseason game against the Orlando Magic.

Milwaukee Brewers @Brewers

From the players of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds: https://t.co/qkhH4AmBKm

Cincinnati Reds @Reds


The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday.

Players from both teams weighed in on the situation:

Brett Anderson @_BAnderson30_

We stand together for change https://t.co/hCrg4GQMn1

CountOnAG @Amir_Garrett

Proud of my organization @Reds and also the @Brewers we were able to come together and make a decision not to play. We stand in solidarity today and I am very proud. We need change, and we need it now.. #BlacklivesMatter

FOX Sports Wisconsin @fswisconsin

"It's more than sports." @Brewers reliever Josh Hader weighs in on the @Bucks boycott. https://t.co/flGuRdTOJu

Tom @Haudricourt

#Brewers union rep Brent Suter on decision not to play game tonight: "Our team and the Reds felt that with our community and our nation in such pain, tonight we wanted 100% of the focus to be on issues that are much more important than baseball."

FOX Sports Wisconsin @fswisconsin

Ryan Braun: "The most impactful thing we could do is not play our baseball game and to not distract from what's going on in the country." #Brewers https://t.co/CCNE53lqyE

Tom @Haudricourt

Christian Yelich: "I think it's a huge move today. I've learned a lot from talking to teammates and others. It's been an eye-opening few months. We've talked about what these shirts mean we've been wearing. There comes time where you have to live it."

The decision not to play follows the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23. Blake was shot several times in the back after reportedly trying to de-escalate a domestic dispute. He is expected to survive but is currently paralyzed from the waist down, which may be permanent.  

The Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres will also join the strike and not play each other on Wednesday. 

Protests in Kenosha—40 miles south of Milwaukee—continued for a third straight night on Tuesday after Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency in the city.

Per Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh of the New York Times, the conflict escalated when two demonstrators were shot and killed, while a third person was wounded, after a 17-year-old allegedly opened fire during a confrontation between protestors and "a group of men carrying long guns who said they were protecting the area from looting."

Inside the NBA's bubble in Orlando, Florida, where a number of players have spoken out about systemic racism and police brutality, the Bucks became the first team to deploy a work stoppage by remaining inside their locker room after their scheduled tip-off time for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic. 

Reports of the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder doing the same were quickly followed by the NBA officially postponing Wednesday's full slate of games. 

Now the action has reached Major League Baseball, first with the Brewers and Reds calling off the third game in a four-game set at Milwaukee's Miller Park, followed shortly by the Mariners and Padres. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports Milwaukee and Cincinnati have discussed playing a doubleheader on Thursday.

A number of individual players have also decided not to play on Wednesday including Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward and Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Kemp.

Matt Kemp @TheRealMattKemp

Tonight I stand with my fellow professional athletes in protest of the injustices my people continue to suffer. I could not play this game I love so much tonight knowing the hurt and anguish my people continue to… https://t.co/nxUt02S64v

Major League Baseball hasn't endured a player strike since the work stoppage in 1994 and 1995 which resulted in the cancelation of the World Series in 1994—the first time in 90 years. 

It's unclear what steps teams in MLB or the NBA are working toward next.