PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) —The Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals have voted to not play Thursday night’s series finale against the Washington Nationals in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. This comes one day after three MLB games and all NBA playoff games were postponed as players across sports came together to call for racial justice.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 27, 2020
“The Phillies and Nationals players have collectively decided to postpone tonight’s game. We support their decision to use their platform to call attention to the racial and social injustice that continues to exist in our country. We will continue to stand behind our players and those on the front lines working to generate accountability and real change in our society,” the Phillies said in a statement.
NBA players said Thursday they would resume the playoffs, while the NHL, after facing criticism for playing Wednesday, will reportedly postpone its second-round playoff games, including Game 3 between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.
After the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Nationals on Wednesday, manager Joe Girardi said he would support the players’ decision — no matter what it was.
“I would tell them to go with their heart,” Girardi said. “Feelings are feelings. They’re never right or wrong. They’re just feelings. You have to go with your heart and what your heart tells you. I would support them with whatever they did.”
Washington manager Dave Martinez became emotional discussing the players’ actions and said he would speak to his team about how they want to proceed.
“I’m proud of the NBA. I’m proud of all the people who stand for justice. You know the way I feel about all this stuff. It’s horrible,” Martinez said. “We need change. We’re people. We have to come up with some kind of conclusion because this is bad. I’m going to talk to the players. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, demanding justice for Blake. The 29-year-old was shot in the back at least seven times by a police officer in Kenosha.
Protesters in Philadelphia say they stand in solidarity with Wisconsin.
“The assailant of Mr. Blake needs to be arrested. I’m here because there’s been no justice for so many victims of police brutality,” West Philadelphia resident Alexander Mowery said.
The Phillies are scheduled to open up a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Friday will be Jackie Robinson Day across MLB.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)