Most of Wednesday’s matches in Major League Soccer were postponed as players chose not to play in protest of racial injustice, and in particular the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The development came as players in both the NBA and WNBA declined to play in support of Black Lives Matter as well as to protest what took place in Kenosha, which included the murder of two protesters Tuesday night.
Initially it looked as though MLS wouldn’t follow suit, as the match between Orlando City SC and Nashville SC went ahead as scheduled, but after taking the field for the Atlanta United and Inter Miami match scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, the players reversed course and decided not to play.
The league also issued a statement that made no mention of postponing games.
“The entire Major League Soccer family is deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake and events in Kenosha. We continue to stand with the Black community throughout our country – including our players and employees – and share in their pain, anger and frustration.
“MLS unequivocally condemns racism and has always stood for equality, but we need to do more to take tangible steps to impact change. We will continue to work with our players, our clubs and the broader soccer community to harness our collective power to fight for equality and social justice.”
But the subsequent matches, starting with the game between Inter Miami CF and Atlanta United, soon delayed their kickoffs as players from both teams conversed as to how to proceed.
The decision was ultimately made to not play the evening’s remaining five games.