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San Jose Earthquakes’ game against Portland Timbers called off amid player strike

Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin has led to calls to refuse to be entertainment.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes’ game against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday at Earthquakes Stadium will not be played as originally scheduled, as a player strike has emerged in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer Sunday, with the 29-year-old Black man becoming the latest victim of extreme and disproportionate violence at the hands of the police. Sustained protests have taken place since then in Kenosha, and on Tuesday, 17-year-old white man Kyle Rittenhouse shot three protesters, killing two, and was not arrested until Wednesday, amid considerable outcry.

A frankly disastrous press conference in Kenosha Wednesday where leaders appeared not to want to even reference the shootings, aside from condemning protesters for being present to get shot, raised the outcry further and a player strike around the American sports world took place.

First, the Milwaukee Bucks opted not to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, with the remaining NBA teams scheduled to be in action Wednesday also opting to go on strike. The WNBA teams scheduled for action did likewise.

In Major League Baseball, some games proceeded Wednesday, with individual players sitting out, while other games were postponed altogether. USL games took place Wednesday.

Five of the six MLS games did not take place Wednesday. The first, Orlando City vs. Nashville SC, did proceed, but the remaining five did not after players decided to go on strike.

The Earthquakes released a statement supporting their players for opting to strike.

If you will allow me to editorialize, I support the players as well. It’s not easy to make a step like this, but to see the same tragic events happen every so many weeks is madness. This isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been happening for centuries, and while our world has changed so much, there is so much left to improve. If you believe in equality, you need to fight for everyone in society, not just you and yours. Here’s hoping we can work to make that change for racial equality now.