As the Boston Red Sox are set to resume play Friday and honor Jackie Robinson, players across all Boston sports leagues continue with a historic strike denouncing racial injustice.
Each player will wear the number 42 in honor of Robinson, the first Black man to play Major League Baseball, when the Sox host the Nationals. Additionally, 100 current and former Black players across the league have decided to donate their salaries to help combat racial injustice.
“I am the only Black person on this team, so I feel like it’s my responsibility to address it in certain situations so people can see what I feel and the things that I think about," Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said.
The Red Sox took the day Thursday to amplify their message, postponing their match-up with the Toronto Blue Jays. Both teams demanded meaningful change in solidarity with other professional leagues following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“If you’re a kid and you turn on the TV tonight and you don’t see that we are playing and you ask your parents, why aren’t the Red Sox playing? I hope the parents have a serious discussion with their kids and tell them what’s going on, explain what’s going on," Red Sox Manager Ron Roenicke said. "We need to discuss these things more. We need to listen more. And that’s the only way we are going to change.”
Players in the NBC, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and NFL are all taking part in an unprecedented and historic strike in protest against racial injustice and police brutality. The Milwaukee Bucks were the first professional sports team to boycott a game after a white police officer shot Blake, an unarmed Black man, several times in the back Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NHL postponed all of its playoff games Thursday and Friday, including Game 4 between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. Bruins officials have said that they're proud of the players and committed to promoting equality and ending systemic racism.
The NBA postponed numerous playoff games this week, including Celtics-Raptors Game 1. The league is expected to resume its playoffs this weekend.
The Patriots held practice Thursday.
“The NFL, for us as well, we have to figure out a way for us to make an impact," New England Patriots running back James White said.
Former Celtics player Cedric Maxwell said athletes today have a larger platform than ever before.
“Players have made a stance," Maxwell said. "My only question is, what’s going to be your end game?”