The Washington Nationals didn’t consider postponing their matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies last night, though the NBA, WNBA, and a number of other MLB clubs decided against playing their scheduled games in the aftermath of the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake by police on Sunday and the protests which followed in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
They were preparing to take on their divisional rivals when stories started to break of the Milwaukee Bucks not taking the floor for their playoff game, prompting similar decisions made by the WNBA, the Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants.
“We didn’t, honestly, we didn’t hear anything,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez explained after their matchup with the Phillies, “...we were getting ready for the game as normal. I just now started reading what was happening, what was going on.”
Martinez was clearly affected by the actions on behalf of the other pro sports teams and leagues.
“I would say this though, proud of the NBA, proud of all the people who stand for justice,” he said, getting emotional at several points as he talked.
“You know the way I feel about all this stuff. It’s horrible. We need change.
“We’re people. We’ve got to come up with some kind of conclusion, because this is bad. So, I’m going to talk to the players, let’s see what happens. I get it. I understand. And like I said, I tip my hat off to all those guys.”
Pro athletes using their platform to make a statement on behalf of justice, Martinez said, is an important and necessary thing.
“People got to understand that we’re human beings as well,” the 55-year-old major leaguer said. “We feel for everybody. We’re not just athletes. We’re first people, and we understand what’s going on, and if we have a chance to make a change or try to change something, we’re going to do it.”
Whatever decision his team reached, Martinez said, they would have his full support, and he said he wasn’t sure how he would handle things personally either.
”I’ve got to focus on one, the players, and what they’re feeling and what they’re going through,” the Nationals’ third-year manager said. “I’ve got to put my personal views aside, and focus on them. And we’ll stick together through this, thick and thin. I told them that almost every day, ‘Hey, whatever happens, whatever you decide, I’m going to stick with you guys 100%.’ So, I’m sure we’re going to have conversations about it here, whether there’s guys still in that clubhouse right now, or tomorrow or something.
“I don’t know what players are going to do, I don’t know what I’m going to do, so we’ll see.”
“If any one of our guys are going to not play,” Martinez added in his post game Zoom call with reporters, “I truly believe that we’re all going to stick together, I really do. So we’ll see. Like I said, we’re going to talk about it and we’ll see what transpires from our conversation.
“But, once again, it’s a travesty that these things keep happening and it’s got to go away. We’ve got to have change.”
This afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies and Nationals both decided not to play tonight’s game.