Jason Heyward is sitting out Wednesday night, but not his Chicago Cubs teammates are not.
On Wednesday, the NBA followed the lead of the Milwaukee Bucks by announcing all playoff games will not be played, as the players are looking to raise awareness for social justice following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Shortly afterward, the Milwaukee Brewers met with the Cincinnati Reds and decided as a group to sit out their scheduled game.
The Chicago Cubs opted to play their game against the Detroit Tigers, but did so without outfielder Jason Heyward, who was listed as a healthy scratch. According to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, Heward met with manager David Ross before the game and decided he wasn’t going to play. It wasn’t specifically stated that the reason for Heyward sitting out was in solidarity with the other striking players across North American sports but it wasn’t stated as not being a reason either.
For what it’s worth, Tony Andracki of Marquee Sports Network reports that Heyward encouraged his teammates to play the game.
Jason Heyward takes a stand on his own
While it does look bad that Heyward is the only player on the Cubs sitting out of their game in Detroit, all reports indicate that he pushed for his team to play. Were they set to join him by sitting out? We won’t know until we hear it from the Cubs players themselves following the game.
Outrage struck the nation earlier this week after Blake, an African American man, was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer. This comes months after George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, leading to millions of Americans protesting across the nation to bring an end to systemic racism and police brutality. After Blake’s shooting, protests began taking place across Kenosha, leading to the local Bucks and Brewers to stand in solidarity with those in the community battling for social justice.
Besides the Brewers and Reds sitting out, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres agreed to postpone their game on Wednesday. All other games across MLB will be taking place as scheduled.