Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice.
The players' action came after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night.
Players from games between Atlanta United and Inter Miami, FC Dallas and Colorado, Portland and San Jose, Real Salt Lake and LAFC, and the LA Galaxy and Seattle all decided not to play in solidarity.
The lone match played was between Orlando City and Nashville SC.
Atlanta United released a statement before its scheduled game against Inter Miami in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The players all gathered on the field before the game, arm in arm.
“We stand in solidarity with the Black community, with our players, our city and our fans in the fight against injustice,” the statement said. “We must use our voices to be the change.”
The Portland Timbers similarly released a statement that said: “The Portland Timbers stand in support of our players and their decision not to play tonight. Racial injustice and police brutality against black people in our country must end now.”
Two Major League Baseball games and all three WNBA games were also called off.
Earlier in the day, Major League Soccer issued a statement about the shooting in Kenosha.
“MLS 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.”
Blake was shot multiple times by police about 40 miles south of Milwaukee. The Blake family’s attorney said Blake was paralyzed and that it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.
The shooting of the 29-year-old Blake was captured on cellphone video.