In light of recent events and following the lead of a number of NBA teams, the Brewers have decided not to play tonight’s game at Miller Park.
Earlier today, on the NBA side of things, the Milwaukee Bucks made the decision as a team to boycott their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, with the rest of the NBA teams set to play tonight following suit. Soon, the question was raised as to whether the Brewers would do the same.
Not long after the Bucks’ decision was formally announced, Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader was set to make a scheduled media appearance. He was asked what actions the team would take and had this to say per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
Shortly thereafter, the Brewers players met to discuss whether or not they would follow the Bucks’ lead and opt not to play tonight’s game against the visiting Reds. As it turns out, they have indeed decided to go in that unprecedented direction.
It remains to be seen whether the rest of the MLB will follow suit or for how long the decision to not play games will last. But what we do know is that the Brewers, as well as the Reds, are not afraid to make a decision that supersedes the game of baseball.
Today’s decision is a reminder that the players we watch are more than just athletes.
Fair or not, professional athletes get asked to give their opinions any time a tragedy like the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha takes place. The Brewers have not been shy to weigh in on these incidents in the past, just like manager Craig Counsell did a couple of days ago.
Prior to the start of the season, the entire team came together in a symbolic gesture on the field for their final Summer Camp game, all playing in shirts that stated “Justice, Equality, Now.” Several of the players also wore them before their Opening Day game against the Cubs.
But at some point, with every new life that is lost, it can’t be surprising that the players might not feel as though all the statements, the jersey patches, and all the press conference answers asking for change are enough. It’s what leads to decisions like the ones that were made today.
We will see whether the rest of the MLB teams who haven’t played yet today will follow the lead of the Brewers and Reds. Whatever they decide, it will be because of what is important to them as humans, a decision that is sometimes separate from the sport of baseball.