Athletics

A's make powerful statement in announcing postponement

Athletics
Marcus Semien, Tony Kemp
USATSI

The A's announced Thursday on Twitter that their scheduled game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington has been postponed.

A's players said in a statement they "will not take the field tonight to help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future."

The Rangers honored the A's decision to postpone the game, saying in a statement that they "stand with all those who condemn racial injustice and are committed to helping bring about an end to systemic racism." 

The A's and Rangers decided to play Wednesday despite three MLB games being postponed as sports-wide boycotts took place in light of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, being shot seven times in the back Sunday by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“We decided to play,” A's manager Bob Melvin said after the A's 3-1 win. “I did give the option for anybody who did not feel comfortable playing not to play, but it was just kind of too rushed when it came to us before we got together and everybody was pretty united in playing."

Though Melvin gave players the option to sit out, nobody approached him with wishes to boycott the game or not play on Wednesday.

“They wanted to be united as a group in what we did," Melvin said. "I just wanted to make sure we covered all our bases, and it was uncomfortable before the game and you see some other teams playing. Mostly the west coast (decided not to play), other than Milwaukee and they were right in the middle of it there and that decision was probably made way earlier in the day.”

 

A’s infielder Tony Kemp sported a Black Lives Matter shirt during Wednesday's national anthem and wore it visibly throughout the game. Following the win Wednesday night, he tweeted "This is bigger than sports. Period." 

Former A's pitcher and current NBC Sports California analyst Dave Stewart said Wednesday he believes every MLB team should have postponed its game, including the A's. John Carlos, who protested during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, also condemned Oakland's decision to play to The Athletic's Alex Coffey.

“It sends the message that even though we’re in the hub of Blackness, we really don’t have a concern about a young man’s life, or the young individual lives that were taken, or the young man that was shot in his back seven times," Carlos told Coffey. "We have no concern about them. All we’re concerned about is doing our jobs."

Thursday's game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sept. 12.