Baseball felt secondary to what the country was going through, the A's still played the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said “it was uncomfortable,” but Oakland played anyway.
Three MLB games, including the Giants' against the Los Angeles Dodgers, were postponed as teams boycotted in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday. A Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back.
The NBA and WNBA each postponed its full slate of games, and the Milwaukee Brewers' matchup with the Cincinnati Reds was the first to be boycotted and then postponed in MLB. Melvin said he fully supported the movement and spoke with the A's before the game about everything going on, but it was pretty close to first pitch.
“We decided to play,” 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.
Melvin added there weren’t any players who approached him and said they didn’t want to play in the game.
“They wanted to be united as a group in what we did," he continued. "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.”
During the national anthem on Wednesday, A’s infielder Tony Kemp sported a Black Lives Matter shirt and wore it visibly throughout the game. Kemp and designated hitter Khris Davis both raised their fists in protest of police brutality and racial injustice during the anthem on Opening Day.
Although the A's played Wednesday, Melvin said the players don't view that as the end of the discussion.
“Our guys said, ‘Look, we’re going to play tonight, and tomorrow, we’re going to discuss it as a group,’ ” Melvin said.