Wednesday was a day the sports world won’t soon forget, as the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in response to the police shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the latest example of police violence against people of color in this country. The Bucks were followed by other teams in the NBA, much of the MLS, and a few teams in MLB.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays weren’t among those teams, as they played their game on Wednesday, something I expressed my frustration with in the game column following the final out. After the game, it was expressed by Jackie Bradley Jr., the lone Black player on the Red Sox active roster, that while he had discussions with Ron Roenicke and Kevin Plawecki, there was not enough time between the Bucks’s decision and the start of last night’s game to come together as a team and make this decision. It would appear they could make up for it with Thursday’s series finale in Buffalo.
Jeff Passan is reporting that the Red Sox players are considering not taking the field for Thursday’s game.
Boston Red Sox players have strongly considered not playing tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays to protest against social injustice, sources tell ESPN. The teams are talking currently and have offered one another support regardless of whether they decide to play or not.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 27, 2020
No final decision has been made here, but Marly Rivera of ESPN is reporting that Bradley is indeed the one who spurred this discussion, and he will definitely not be playing on Thursday.
#RedSox sources tell me that everything has been spurred by Jackie Bradley Jr., who has apparently made the decision to not play tonight. https://t.co/RDCQVoHMsQ— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) August 27, 2020
I’ve already made it clear that I would like to see the Red Sox stand in solidarity with other athletes across sports in this moment, and I would certainly hope they stand in solidarity with their teammate here. There were teams on Wednesday who played despite having Black teammates sit out, but the Dodgers were one that stood by Mookie Betts after his decision not to play, and that was the right decision. It seems like the Red Sox clubhouse leaning toward doing the same for Bradley, and I would hope that is the decision they ultimately make.
It bears repeating as well that this is a laudable move by the players. The obvious and tired retort will be that this won’t solve racism on its own, which no shit. Nobody is claiming that it will. But one, it is standing in solidarity with the oppressed in this situation, which are people of color all over this nation. That includes but is certainly not limited to athletes in this league and others around the nation and world. It also takes away a distraction, even for a night, from important conversations that need to be had in this country.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated as more details come out and final decisions are made.
It’s official. They will not play tonight.
Source: the Red Sox have decided not to play tonight.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) August 27, 2020