Mets, Marlins Hold 42-Second Moment of Silence, Put BLM Shirt on Home PlateAugust 27, 2020
The New York Mets and Miami Marlins left the field on Thursday night less than a minute after a scheduled first pitch.
The game has officially been postponed.
Both teams emptied their dugouts at Citi Field and held a 42-second moment of silence in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the conclusion, both the Mets and Marlins returned to their clubhouses, leaving a "Black Lives Matter" T-shirt at home plate.
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto explained the decision-making process behind the gestures, per SNY's Alex Smith:
"It was from all of the players, we threw out ideas. The 42 seconds was an agreement between us and the Marlins. I met with a couple of their players. [Miami's Miguel] Rojas brought up that idea. We wanted to make sure what we were doing out there was done by both teams and we wanted to make sure it was organized, and the right message was being put out when we went out on the field.
"It was a bit last-minute, but I think the right message was portrayed and I think it was good."
Six MLB games were postponed on Thursday before the Mets and Marlins made their demonstration while both the MLB and NHL playoffs were put on hold until at least Saturday.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back seven times by police officer Rusten Sheskey as he attempted to re-enter his car after allegedly helping de-escalate a dispute between two women. Blake is expected to survive, however he remains paralyzed from the waist down. It's unclear if the condition is permanent.
On the eve of Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, the Marlins and Mets chose the number he wore for the length of their protest.
Earlier Thursday, The Players Alliance—a non-profit organization of current and former Black MLB players—announced members would honor Jackie Robinson Day by donating their salaries on Friday to "combat racial inequality and aid the Black families and communities deeply affected in the wake of recent events."
New York's Dom Smith and and Miami's Lewis Brinson, who led off on Thursday, both serve on the organization's Major League Player Committee. On Wednesday, Smith addressed the media to explain the pain he feels as a Black man in America.
A day later, Smith and his teammates were meeting with the Marlins to figure out their next steps. They settled on Thursday evening's demonstration.
"We're definitely united in this decision, 100 percent, from top to bottom," New York's Michael Conforto said. "After seeing the comments Dom made last night, although it's not just about Dom, it touched all of us in the clubhouse."
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the decision to put Brinson at leadoff came from within the clubhouse and it "just made sense".
The Mets organization had already made news earlier in the day when a leaked tape of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen disparaging MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's response to the protests in baseball began circulating on social media.
Van Wagenen could be heard discussing the Mets' plan to postpone Thursday's game to which, he said, Manfred asked if players could leave the field and return to play an hour later.
"At the leadership level, he doesn't get it," Van Wagenen said. "He just doesn't get it."
Shortly after the teams left the field, the GM released a statement apologizing to Manfred and explaining the idea to return to the field was not the commissioner's, but Mets owner Jeff Wilpon's.
Players arrived at Citi Field without an intent to play any baseball. The game did not resume after their protest.