Astros, Athletics Honor Jackie Robinson Before Postponing Game in ProtestAugust 29, 2020
The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics became the latest MLB teams to walk off the field in protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a move similar to that of the Miami Marlins and New York Mets on Thursday, the A's and Astros both took the field for the first pitch, held a moment of silence and returned to their clubhouses after each leaving a jersey honoring Jackie Robinson in the batters box.
The Mets and Marlins held a moment of silence for 42 seconds—Robinson's jersey number—at Citi Field on Thursday before leaving the field.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back seven times on Sunday by officer Rusten Sheskey while returning to his car after reportedly trying to de-escalate a dispute between two women. Blake is expected to survive but is currently paralyzed from the waist down. It's unknown if the condition is permanent.
The Astros and Athletics will play a doubleheader Saturday to make up Friday's game.
As the league celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Friday, the two clubs decided to make a stand for Black lives.
"We’ve been through a lot this year," Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters. "We've been through a lot of scrutiny, but this is the closest I’ve seen these guys together."
Protests around professional sports began on Wednesday afternoon when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to leave their locker room for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic. Kenosha is just 40 miles south of Milwaukee and the Bucks instead spent their time reaching out to the lieutenant governor and attorney general of Wisconsin to demand justice for Blake.
Once the protest began, the NBA officially postponed the postseason until Saturday while the WNBA, MLS and various MLB teams opted to not play in solidarity. Multiple NFL teams began canceling practice to hold team discussions as well.
"If we can change one person’s mind, have a conversation that changes one person’s thought process—saves a life—this was worth it for us.” Houston's Michael Brantley said.
Both teams will continue to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday.