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Outside The Confines: Baseball takes a back seat

In a year marked by change, pro sports is striking for the good of all.

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Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

I cannot imagine a time in my past when I would have looked at a baseball strike as a positive thing, let alone something I would actively cheer for. But this past week has demonstrated that major sports, from the NBA to MLB and even the NHL, are recognizing that it’s an important moment to let empty courts and stadiums make a statement.

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks started a movement, whether they intended to or not. Following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Bucks were hurting, seeing something happen so close to home for them. They decided they would not play Game 5 of their championship series against the Orlando Magic. Some called it a boycott, but it really was a strike.

Other teams soon followed suit across the NBA, the WNBA, and then the Milwaukee Brewers were the first MLB team to sit out their game. Others followed suit on Wednesday, then even more teams did the same on Thursday. As Friday dawns, it is Jackie Robinson Day for MLB. Today is the anniversary of when he met with Branch Rickey to discuss a career in the majors. It’s also the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington).

It remains to be seen how teams will continue to stand against racism and injustice on a day that remembers a man who did both those things, but the Players Alliance have shared their intentions:

There was also a rumor circulating that Commissioner Rob Manfred tried to get the Mets to enact a stunt where they would not start their game on time but rather an hour later, in opposition of the team’s decision to not play Thursday’s game at all. This was subsequently proven to have been Mets owner Jeff Wilpon’s suggestion.

I told you guys on Monday that the quiet no-news downtime wouldn’t last long.

On to links!

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.