It was a sight.
The A’s lined up in front of the visitors dugout at Minute Maid Park, standing opposite from the Houston Astros on Friday. For 42 seconds, in honor of Jackie Robinson, they stood in unified silence. It was something A's manager Bob Melvin supported from the beginning, even if he still has much to learn.
The Astros had approached Melvin earlier and said they planned on boycotting the game due to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man from Wisconsin. After the team stood for those 42 seconds, they walked off the field. No game would be played at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
The A’s, on Thursday, opted not to play against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. In a joint statement, the players said the reasoning behind the boycott was “to help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future.”
For Melvin, Jackie Robinson Day, which was observed Friday, meant more this time around. Over the last month, he had been learning from members of the team about racial injustice and police brutality.
“Oh without a doubt every day,” Melvin said after the game was boycotted. “We talk in some form, whether it’s small groups, whether it’s individuals, whether the entire team, and no doubt and I woke up this morning, and -- I’ve always known the story of Jackie Robinson, but I had a different view today.”
“I was angry today, I was sad, I was all of the above,” Melvin said. “So I was looking forward to putting this jersey on, have the utmost respect for No. 42, and his playing so yes, I see things differently.”
The A's-Astros will make up the boycotted game as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.