Atlanta United doesn’t play in protest of Jacob Blake shooting – Atlanta Journal Constitution

MLS said the game is considered to be postponed and will be rescheduled.

Twenty minutes before the game was supposed to start, MLS posted this message on its social media channels:

“The entire Major League Soccer family is deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake and events in Kenosha. We continue to stand with the Black Community throughout our country — including our players and employees — and share in their pain, anger and frustration.

“The entire Major League Soccer family unequivocally condemns racism and has always stood for equality, but we need to do more to take tangible steps to impact change. We will continue to work with our players, our clubs and the broader soccer community to harness our collective power to fight for equality and social justice.”

The rest of Wednesday’s MLS games were also postponed as part of the players’ protests: Colorado at Dallas, LAFC at Real Salt Lake, Portland at San Jose, and Seattle at L.A. Galaxy. Nashville at Orlando started before Atlanta United’s game and was played.

All of Atlanta United’s players participated in warm-ups before the game against Inter Miami. Both teams went back into the locker rooms once the warm-ups were complete.

Some of Atlanta United reserves came out when the game was going to start. Inter Miami’s starters came out as if to play. Atlanta United’s starters never came out of the locker room.

Atlanta United’s starters eventually walked onto the field and posed for a team photo that featured all of the players from both teams, as well as the officiating crew. The officiating crew then walked off the field. The balls already had been taken up. The coolers then were soon rolled off the field.

Inter Miami players leave the field after the team's MLS soccer match against Atlanta United was called off, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice. The players' action comes after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night.  (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Inter Miami players leave the field after the team’s MLS soccer match against Atlanta United was called off, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice. The players’ action comes after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Credit: Jim Rassol

Credit: Jim Rassol

Players from Inter Miami and Atlanta United gather on the field before an MLS soccer match was called off Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice. The players' action comes after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night.  (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Players from Inter Miami and Atlanta United gather on the field before an MLS soccer match was called off Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice. The players’ action comes after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Credit: Jim Rassol

Credit: Jim Rassol

This isn’t the first act of protest done by teams in MLS.

During the MLS tournament in Orlando, players knelt on the field before games kicked off, following examples of teams in Europe. Teams continue to follow that practice during the league’s re-start.

Players wore and continue to wear T-shirts with the slogan Black Lives Matter.

While in Orlando, some teams included the names of people killed by law enforcement either in place of their names on the backs of their jerseys, or written on the bottom of their jerseys.

The Major League Soccer Players Association released this statement Wednesday night:

“The MLSPA stands with the decision made by the players — and those made by players in other leagues — not to play tonight in protest of systemic racial injustice, the latest example of which is the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake.

“Some things are far more important than sports. Change must happen and athletes are committed to leading the way.”

Atlanta United upcoming games

Saturday vs. Orlando, 3:30 p.m. (Univision)

Sept. 2 vs. Miami, 7 p.m. (FS1)

Sept. 5 at Orlando, 8 p.m. (Fox)

Sept. 12 at Nashville, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports South)

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