The Milwaukee Brewers have joined their neighboring NBA franchise by deciding not to play their scheduled game Wednesday in an expression of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of Jacob Blake.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man in Wisconsin, was shot by Kenosha police seven times Sunday after officers responded to a domestic disturbance. He survived the incident but is paralyzed after a bullet severed his spinal cord. Blake’s situation is the latest in a series of office-involved shootings this year that have ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Bucks were the first team to announce they were not taking the court Wednesday for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks. Not long after, the NBA called off all three playoff games scheduled for that evening. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “the season is in jeopardy” with several weeks of playoff basketball still remaining.
Brewers reliever Josh Hader spoke with reporters earlier Wednesday afternoon and expressed his support for the Bucks. Hader was required to enroll in diversity and inclusion training in 2018 after old tweets containing racist and homophobic messages were uncovered while he was pitching in the MLB All-Star Game.
Milwaukee’s opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, have reportedly agreed not to play as well, eliminating the possibility of the Brewers forfeiting the contest. ESPN’s Jeff Passan also reported that several other teams may sit out Wednesday too. Among them are the Seattle Mariners, who roster more Black players than any other team in baseball.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond was the first to report the Brewers weren’t playing Wednesday.