The A's and Houston Astros made a powerful statement Friday night.
The two rival clubs, who brawled in Oakland a few weeks ago, came together to protest the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, by Wisconsin police.
Both teams lined up in front of their dugouts and stood for a 42-second moment of silence to honor MLB legend Jackie Robinson. But before a pitch could be thrown, both clubs walked off the field to their respective clubhouses. The series-opener was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday with the first game starting at 1:10 p.m. PT.
The teams put a Black Lives Matter t-shirt over home plate, and laid their No. 42 Jackie Robinson jerseys next to the shirt in a sign of unity.
The protest by the A's and Astros was similar to the one done by the New York Mets and Miami Marlins on Thursday.
Jackie Robinson day, which is usually observed on April 15, was held on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic pushing the start of the season back. However the message remained strong throughout the week leading up to Friday.
The NBA and WNBA in its entirety boycotted games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with some MLB teams following suit. The A’s went ahead with their Wednesday matchup against the Texas Rangers due to timing, but would sit out of Thursday’s game in Arlington.
The Astros haven't played since Tuesday so they haven't had the opportunity to express themselves following the shooting of Blake.
"We’re seeing other sports teams, our peers doing things to shine a light on what’s going on in our country, take the light off of ourselves for a game and see if that could make an impact because we’ve been trying all kinds of things and we’re not seeing enough actions so this is a good start,” A’s shortstop Marcus Semien said on Thursday.
The same day, the A’s released a statement on behalf of the players saying the team “will not take the field tonight to help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future. This is the first step in our relentless pursuit for meaningful change.”