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Red Sox and Blue Jays Won't Play Thursday in Response to Police Shooting

Athletes across major sports are protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha

The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays will not play Thursday's game after players said they would boycott in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The American League East rivals made the announcement in a joint statement.

"The continued police brutality and social inequity demand immediate attention and focus from all of us – not only Black Americans and Canadians," the teams said. "We fully respect the decision of our players to bring further awareness to the systemic racism that contributes to police violence against Black, Indigenous and people of color in our communities. We look forward to getting back on the field, and using our strongest platform, our game, to amplify our message demanding meaningful change."

Earlier, a source told the Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams that other Red Sox players followed suit after outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., the team's only Black player, said he would sit out in protest.

Three other Major League Baseball teams boycotted their games Wednesday.

The Milwaukee Bucks were the first professional sports team to boycott a game Wednesday to protest social injustice in America after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, several times in the back Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Teams in Major League Soccer, the WNBA and Major League Baseball followed Milwaukee's lead, and the NBA postponed three playoff games Thursday, including Celtics-Raptors Game 1. The Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners boycotted their games Wednesday, while several players on other teams refused to play.

Bradley met with manager Ron Roenicke and catcher Kevin Plawecki on Wednesday before the Red Sox' game against the Blue Jays, but there was no team meeting and the teams played their game as scheduled.

Report: Red Sox 'strongly' considering boycotting game vs. Blue Jays originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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