Phillies vote not to play tonight versus Nationals

MLB: AUG 16 Mets at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 16: Philadelphia Phillies Left Fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) hits a two run home run during the sixth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on August 16, 2020, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Some things are more important that sports.

When the Phillies took the field for their 6:05 game last night against the Washington Nationals, they did so as players across the nation discussed whether or not to play in light of the racial injustices in this country.

Three games were postponed last night in Major League Baseball. The Milwuakee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres vs Seattle Mariners games were all postponed. Not to mention the several NBA and WNBA games to be postponed as well.

Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi was not privy to any of the pre-game discussions from Phillies’ players last night. Most likely, there simply were not conversations as the Phillies would have already been warming up for the game before the first domino fell when the Milwaukee Bucks walked out of their game.

Today’s game is a different story, however, as the Phillies players have decided not to play tonight’s game. Last night, Joe Girardi said that he wants his players to “go with their heart” and that is certainly the case as the players have elected not to play tonight’s game.

The Phillies appear to be the first of many MLB cancellations to come today as the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics will also not play their scheduled game.

How this will affect the Phillies’ already jam-packed September schedule we have yet to see, but that is not the priority today. Professional athletes have a unique platform and ability to advocate for change. While fans may cry out that they should “just do their job” or “do it on their own time,” there is seldom a better platform to advocate for change than sports. Millions of fans watch sporting events daily as a reprieve from the minute of life.

Professional sports unified the United States following 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and even now during the COVID-19 crisis. But sports also has the ability to enact real change into society. If it weren’t for minority athletes like Jackie Robinson, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, and even Colin Kaepernick, the voices of the oppressed would be even less audible today. And so, despite the incoming chorus from keyboard warriors, the message being purveyed by the protesting athletes is this:

Some thing are more important than sports.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire