CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In the wake of boiling racial tensions brought on by the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake that happened in Kenosha, Wis., the MLB Commissioner said announced he is supporting those players who chose to boycott to “address social justice.”
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement on Thursday night:
“Over the past two days, players on a number of Clubs have decided not to play games. I have said both publicly and privately that I respect those decisions and support the need to address social injustice. I have not attempted in any way to prevent players from expressing themselves by not playing, nor have I suggested any alternative form of protest to any Club personnel or any player. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”
On Wednesday, NBA players from around the league, starting with the Milwaukee Bucks, chose to boycott the scheduled games in protest against racial injustice in the country following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Now, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, and the Clippers are reportedly ready to opt out of the rest of the 2020 NBA playoff games.
As a team, the Cleveland Cavaliers released a statement in solidarity with the players’ decision to focus on social issues rather than taking to the basketball court.
On a local level, the aftermath of the shooting has also lead to the three major professional sports teams in Cleveland creating a partnership to develop a strategy to address social injustice throughout Northeast Ohio.
Members from the Cavaliers, Browns, and Indians organizations will work to improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and local residents, while also advocating for voting and quality education.