Dexter Fowler Won't Play in Cardinals vs. Royals to Protest Jacob Blake Shooting

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

St. Louis Cardinals' Dexter Fowler prepares to take batting practice during a baseball workout at Busch Stadium Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler will not play in Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday.

The Cardinals announced that "Dexter Fowler and Jack Flaherty have decided to stand in solidarity with other players throughout Major League Baseball. Dexter Fowler is a healthy scratch from tonight's game. The Cardinals organization supports their decisions."

Flaherty, a starting pitcher, was not scheduled to take the mound in Wednesday's contest.

In May, Fowler posted a message on his Instagram page following the police killing of George Floyd alongside an image that said "I can't breathe":

"Here's the thing. I know it's hard to fully grasp why black people are outraged.

"It's hard to grasp unless you've seen people hold their purses tighter when you walk by, when you have people refer to you as 'not black' when you're not 'ghetto'. When your parents have to give you a talk when you're just a kid. 'you can't act like your white friends. you'll get killed. they won't'

"This is a generational discussion EVERY black family has. It terrifies you as a kid, and as an adult.

"You don't understand why we know, those officers didn't flinch at murdering that man, because he is black.

The race card. We hold it. You tell us 'it's not about race' if we ever hold you to it. You don't want us to have even that 1 bone chilling 'privilege' of defense. You don't want us to hold any privilege.

"We don't hold the privilege of being a criminal, making a mistake, or simply taking a jog, the same as a white man, and being treated the same.

"He couldn't breathe. He was murdered. They were gently fired from their jobs. This isn't right. This can't go on.

"(if you assume 'you', is you, and you're upset about the generalization...... just think about that for a second)."

Flaherty has also used his platform on social media to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against police brutality and systemic racism through retweets and his own words:

Jack Flaherty @Jack9Flaherty

say it again Doc so much respect https://t.co/jp2aeLVJ82

Elsewhere in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers announced the players from their team and the Cincinnati Reds decided not to play Wednesday's game.

The Seattle Mariners also voted not to play against the San Diego Padres, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, and second baseman Dee Gordon and infielder Shed Long Jr. explained their rationale:

Dee Gordon @FlashGJr

Instead of watching us, we hope people will focus on the things more important than sports that are happening. - Dee Strange-Gordon

Shed Long Jr. @SLONG895

Enough is enough https://t.co/Rhs0hbLVMN

Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reported Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward chose to sit out his team's game against the Detroit Tigers but encouraged his teammates to take the field.

The decisions from baseball players come after the NBA announced Wednesday's three playoff games were postponed. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Milwaukee Bucks first decided to sit out their game against the Orlando Magic.

The WNBA announced Wednesday's three games were postponed as well.

Video emerged of police shooting Blake in the back multiple times as he approached a car. Blake's attorney, Benjamin Crump, said Blake's sons were in the car as the police shot him.