PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks reported to work Thursday not knowing whether they would play a baseball game later in the day.
By the time of the scheduled 3:10 p.m. first pitch, not a single player was visible at Chase Field, and it was clear what had been decided.
The Diamondbacks-Colorado Rockies game became one of at least seven MLB games to be postponed in protest over racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Also postponed on Thursday was the slate of NBA and NHL playoff games.
The Rockies announced the postponement on Twitter with this statement: “After reflecting and meeting as a group, Rockies players have decided not to play today’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, standing in solidarity with athletes and sports teams against social injustice.”
The Diamondbacks, in a re-tweet, said, “We stand with our brothers at the @Rockies.”
Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley said Thursday his team had conversations the previous night about not playing, but the players did not have enough time to make an informed decision about whether to play. The wave of postponements Wednesday started with the NBA and rippled across much of the sports world.
“As a team we had a few conversations yesterday” about what was happening in the NBA and in baseball, Bradley said in a conference call about two hours before the Diamondbacks and Rockies were scheduled to complete their four-game series at Chase Field.
“By the time it kinda got to us it was an hour out (from game time). I’m not saying it’s too late to cancel a game, but for us we weren’t organized, we weren’t prepared or ready to have those conversations yesterday as a team. … Between us and the Rockies, we weren’t able to come together and be able to speak together and figure out a plan for last night’s game.
“Today I would say is where the real conversations have begun.”
That point was underscored repeatedly by Bradley and also Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Thursday. They spoke about the in-the-moment decisions being made by teams and individual athletes as being a starting point in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.
Earlier on Thursday, Lovullo said that the decision to play or not “is a player-driven initiative, and we will support whatever the players decide to do.”
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