The New York Mets and Miami Marlins had a moment of silence on August 27 at the start of their game, and then proceeded to walk of the field, CBS News reported. The teams took the action in a joint protest of racial injustice, leaving a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt draped across home plate.
The protest echoed similar demonstrations happening across the sports world, as teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers recently voted to boycott the remainder of their season. Professional athletes are speaking up after the shooting of Jacob Blake — an unarmed black man —by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. CBS News also reported that Mets outfielder, Dominic Smith, who wept on Wednesday while discussing the incident, led his fellow players onto the field ahead of Thursday’s scheduled game.
In video of the event, posted by the Complex Sports Twitter account, Lewis Brinson, lead-off hitter for the Marlins, was seen walking up to the plate when both teams suddenly came out of their respective dugouts in a dramatic display. As they all lined up down the first and third baselines, they removed their hats and bowed their heads, taking a 42-second moment of silence.
The 42-second duration was significant in honoring Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to break the Major League Baseball’s infamous color barrier; Robinson wore No. 42 when he started playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. MLB is holding its Jackie Robinson Day on August 28, postponed from its usual April 15, which had to be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the league’s official website.
Following the moment of silence, both teams waved their caps at each other and made their departure, signaling a decision to call off the game in a pointed gesture. The video then zoomed in on a T-shirt with “Black Lives Matter” lettering, written across the chest, draped over home plate.
Numerous fans shared their support of the protest via Twitter.
“This. This is what we need. This is an example of using the platform on which you stand. This gives me a shred of hope.,” one user wrote.
“This makes me so proud to be an American. Thank You to MLB and NBA for giving us a voice. Now it’s the NFL’s turn,” another fan commented.
“More American than baseball. Thank you, teams!” an additional user exclaimed.
“When ball players do more to heal the nation than our own elected leaders…….” a fan also tweeted, hinting at the lack of action from political leaders around the subject.