The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t play their scheduled game on Wednesday night. They joined four other MLB teams, the entirety of the NBA and WNBA, and the bulk of MLS in choosing not to play, as a sign of protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake — a Black man from Kenosha, Wisconsin — on Sunday.
The Giants didn’t handle media relations tremendously well immediately following the decision. Only one member of the organization was made available to the media Wednesday night: manager Gabe Kapler, who tried to walk the tightrope given to him as the lone voice of a team comprised of dozens of people who likely had dozens of different viewpoints.
The Dodgers, by comparison, had a media session with manager Dave Roberts, and stars Mookie Betts, Kenley Jansen, and Clayton Kershaw.
It seems as though the Dodgers were the first to make the decision not to play, and the Giants followed their lead. But on Thursday morning, ahead of a doubleheader between the teams, Mike Yastrzemski spoke with the media. Yaz — who has become not just the Giants best player, but perhaps their biggest leader — described why postponing the game was important, and why we need to focus more on systemic oppression in America.
Yaz on @sfgiants postponing game last night in support of bringing attention/awareness to racial injustice. "I barely slept last night. I don't know how to separate it. This isn't just affecting one community, it's affecting our country."— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) August 27, 2020
More from Yaz on @sfgiants postponing last night's game, "Ultimately it came down to us siding with support...when players are so affected and mourning, it's a sign of support."— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) August 27, 2020
"The world is a bigger place than the baseball field and when events of the world overflow on to the field we have to adapt." - Yaz on @sfgiants decision to postpone last night's as a stand against systemic racism and police brutality.— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) August 27, 2020
Yaz on affect of postponement: "I think it's pretty clear the message is people in the world don't accept killing for no reason. They don't accept social injustice and people are starting to act." @sfgiants— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) August 27, 2020
That’s very well said by Yastrzemski, and hopefully portends further action from the Giants, both as an organization and as a collection of individuals.
This week has been yet another reminder that there are much more important and meaningful things than sports.