If you wanted to watch baseball Thursday night instead of the final night of the Republican National Convention, well, you were out of luck. But if you tuned into the 7:10 p.m. game between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins — the only one of seven Major League Baseball games Thursday not postponed in protest of social injustice — you still got a show.
The Mets and Marlins jointly came up with the plan to take the field, remove their caps, stand in silence for 42 seconds in honor of Jackie Robinson, then walk off the field, leaving only a Black Lives Matter shirt on home plate, on Thursday evening. The impetus for the walkout was Mets outfielder Dominic Smith, though Miguel Rojas came up with the last-minute plan. "We wanted to do something special," he explained afterward. "We wanted to do something different."
"The words on the shirt speak for themselves, just having it in the center of everything, just knowing that both teams are unified, and that we agreed to do this," Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, Miami's leadoff hitter, told reporters. "And it was the right thing to do."
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The Milwaukee Bucks were the first to call off their game in response to police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting Jacob Blake, the latest unarmed Black person killed or seriously injured by police. (Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and, his family says, handcuffed to his hospital bed.) "We are scared as Black people in America," explained Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. "Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified."
The NBA, WNBA, MLB, Major League Soccer, and NHL postponed games on Wednesday and Thursday, nine teams in the preseason NFL canceled practice, and the Western & Southern Open tennis semifinals were pushed back a day after Naomi Osaka threatened to withdraw from the tournament. "The PGA Tour event at Olympia Fields outside Chicago — less than 100 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin — went on as scheduled Thursday," The Associated Press reports. "The LPGA Tour is set to begin play Friday in Rogers, Arkansas."
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