INTER MIAMI’S MLS clash with Atlanta United was postponed at the last minute on Wednesday night as players showed solidarity with the NBA in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last weekend.
All basketball play-off games were cancelled earlier in the day along with some baseball fixtures with local Florida TV here suggesting the newly formed MLS Black Players for Change were behind the cancellation of what was supposed to be the second home game of the season for David Beckham’s new franchise.
Inter Miami’s stars leave the field after deciding not to play Atlanta United in the MLS at the last minute[/caption]
Both sets of players opted out of the clash minutes before kick-off to show solidarity with the NBA in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin[/caption]
While Orlando City’s match in front of a reduced-capacity crowd with Nashville kicked-off 300 miles north of Lockhart Stadium, the captains from both sides – Luis Robles and Brad Guzan – came together just moments before the scheduled kick-off and were locked in discussions for over 20 minutes.
Both teams were late to warm up as chaos and confusion reigned with the official word of the cancellation finally arriving over 30 minutes from the original start time of 8pm.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber had released a statement earlier in the evening confirming the League’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
But serious questions will now be raised as to why Orlando and Nashville began their match while most sports in North America had ground to a halt following the shooting on Sunday which left the 29 year-old Blake paralysed from the waist down.
Atlanta midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said:”We want to let all of the fans know that we made a collective decision between both lockers rooms to not play tonight to stand-up and fight for social change.”
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Inter’s AJ DeLaGarza added:”I think we had to make a very tough decision in front of our coaches minutes before walking out here.”
All remaining five MLS games planned for last night were also cancelled while there are fears the NBA season, which resumed recently inside a biosecure bubble at Disneyworld, could be canned.
“We demand change,” LA Lakers superstar LeBron James blasted on Twitter.
“Sick of it.”