PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Phillies game against the Washington Nationals has been postponed in the wake of the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin.
"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 Thursday.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi passed that along in a phone call to Nationals counterpart Dave Martinez, who said the Nationals would join their opponents in sitting out.
“We’re in this together -- this fight for equality and social justice,” Girardi said. “In this world, I’ve always believed, there’s two things you can’t live without. It has nothing to do with food and water. It’s love and hope. And I don’t think we’re doing a good job in our country giving that to everyone and I think that needs to be the focus here.”
The Philadelphia Flyers also announced that their playoff game against the New York Islanders will not be played Thursday night in support of the NHL, NHLPA and the Hockey Diversity Alliance’s decision to postpone games Thursday and Friday to protest racial injustice.
"After much discussion, NHL Players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled. The NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule accordingly," the National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League said in a statement.
The joint decision to put off games Thursday and Friday was reached by the league and the NHL Players’ Association. It was made after members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance asked the NHL to postpone the playing of games, by saying: “We strongly feel this sends a clear message that human rights take priority over sports.” The alliance is made up of nine current and former minority players.
Nearly a full day after the NBA and MLB saw games postponed over Blake’s shooting last weekend, the NHL and its union made their announcement.
The announcement came an hour before the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders were to play Game 3 of their series in Toronto. The other postponed game Thursday had the Vegas Golden Knights facing the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The other postponed games were Game 4s on Friday: Boston against Tampa, and Dallas against Colorado.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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