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Reds, Brewers decide not to play Wednesday game to protest police shooting of Jacob Blake

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 22:02:38-04

MILWAUKEE — Wednesday night's game between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers has been canceled as players protest the Kenosha Police shooting of Jacob Blake.

"The Cincinnati Reds respect the Milwaukee Brewers organization in their decision to not play tonight's game, and join them in pausing and reflecting on the events that are causing such pain and hardship in their local community and across our great nation. In our commitment to help bring positive change, the Reds support the players' intention to build awareness of the issues around racial equality," read a statement from the Reds.

"The players from the Brewers and the Reds have decided not to play tonight's baseball game. With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to draw as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression," read a joint statement from the teams.

The news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and ESPN, came after the NBA postponed all of its Wednesday playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor against the Orlando Magic to protest the shooting. Reports indicate that the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies have also postponed their Wednesday night matchup.

The Reds were scheduled to face the Brewers at 7:10 p.m. at Miller Park. According to a Reds spokesman and a schedule posted on MLB.com, the teams have a doubleheader set on Thursday at 5:10 p.m. (ET).

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett, who has been outspoken on the issue of racial injustice, applauded the team's decision not to play Wednesday night.

"Proud of my organization @Reds and also the @Brewers we were able to come together and make a decision not to play. We stand in solidarity today and I am very proud. We need change, and we need it now," Garrett tweeted.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot from behind seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. His family said that Blake survived the shooting but has been paralyzed.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) identified Rusten Sheskey as the officer who shot Blake.
The DCI, which provided its first update on the case late Wednesday nearly 72 hours after the shooting, said it's continuing its investigation, but is not pressing charges as of now.

Since the shooting, thousands have taken to the streets of Kenosha nightly in response. On Tuesday night, police said two people were shot and killed at the protests. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has since been arrested in connection with the shooting and will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide.