Phillies, NHL follow other pro athletes in boycotting racial injustice; Eagles plan to take action

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Phillies and Flyers didn’t play on Thursday night to stand with other professional sports teams and leagues as they continue to protest racial injustice.

The move was first made by the NBA, in the wake of the shooting of Black man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

So instead of playing baseball, the Phillies and Nationals made a unified statement to collectively postpone the game.

— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 27, 2020

Manager Joe Girardi said he’s proud of his players. 

“We want this to be the best place in the world to live, and unless we do something about it, it’s not going to be. And I don’t think that’s how this country was founded,” he said. “I’ve always believed there’s two things that you can’t live without, and it has nothing to do with food and water. It’s love and hope, and I don’t think we’re doing a good job in our country giving that to everyone.

“People are just asking to be heard so there’s change made.”

Nationals manager Davey Martinez echoed similar sentiments. 

“We got to change,” he said. “We got to change now. It ain’t gonna get any better if these guys don’t speak up and we don’t speak up.”

Rhys Hoskins said the players want to see change.

“I’ve heard people ask, ‘Well, what do the players want?’ Obviously change, right? We’re hoping for change and we know that some of these issues that are going on in the country are rather big issues, but even if there’s baby steps toward changing those issues, that feels like a win,” he said while sitting next to Nationals utility player Josh Harrison.

“Even though we battle each other every night, different uniforms in between those white lines, it’s a brotherhood,” said Harrison. “At the end of the day, we got to support each other, be united for whatever the cause may be.”

Harrison is a part of The Players Alliance, which consists of more than 100 Black professional baseball players. Those players are collectively donating their salaries from Thursday and Friday to the Alliance to help Black communities affected by these recent events.

We cannot stand idly by and wait for change✊--Join The Players Alliance in our movement:

— ThePlayersAlliance (@Player_Alliance) August 27, 2020

Major League Baseball also celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on Friday. The Phillies are scheduled to play the Braves at 7:05 p.m. in South Philly. 

Meanwhile, hockey players chose to postpone Thursday and Friday’s games. Action is expected to resume Saturday. The newly former Hockey Diversity Alliance called for the NHL games to be postponed.

[STATEMENT>Our response to the NHL’s response to the radical injustice and violence.

— Hockey Diversity Alliance (@TheOfficialHDA) August 27, 2020

“What we’re striving to achieve here is inclusion and making sure that everyone feels welcome in the sport of hockey.”- Kevin Shattenkirk on the importance of creating an empowering environment for Black players

— NHL (@NHL) August 28, 2020

Some NFL teams are canceling practices, too. The Eagles didn’t on Thursday, but Rodney McLeod said they’re having meaningful discussions, and an action plan is pending. 

“When we walk outside these doors without this jersey on, without this shield, without these cleats, we’re seen as the same as a Jacob Blake or a George Floyd,” he said. “When we’re in a car or we come across a police officer, that fear still exists for us, and it’s real.”

McLeod said he doesn't feel that there is enough push from NFL owners to address racial injustices. 

“In the recent month or two, I feel like it’s become something of an afterthought,” he added. “There hasn’t been much push. … We want them to speak out on a lot of these issues that exist for their players.”

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 27, 2020

Carson Wentz said it’s time to make a difference. 

“We want to see real change,” he echoed, “and I know the NBA and everyone’s using their platform to create that change. Some fans might not like it, but at the end of the day, there’s a hurting community, and we want to reach out and respond to that hurt.”

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 27, 2020