Canadian sports teams support leagues' decision to postpone games

Aug 28 2020, 7:30 am

Canadian teams from around the sports world are offering their support for their leagues’ decisions to postpone games.

In statements shared across their social media channels, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays, and the Montreal Canadiens have backed the postponement of games in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting.

“Professional sports are at their core only a game, and during this challenging time are a welcome escape for many, however at their best, they also provide a chance for people to come together and celebrate the achievement of athletes of all backgrounds,” the Montreal Canadiens said. “We couldn’t be prouder of the NHL’s players, and of those across all leagues who are making a similar stand.”

The Maple Leafs said the organization is “committed to being a force for positive action in the fight to end racism.”

The Vancouver Canucks said taking a stance and action is “bigger than hockey.” In a combined statement, Calgary sports teams say it “applauds athletes from all sports” who are amplifying the message, and the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators backed the movement, to “promote equality and social justice.”

After postponing their Thursday night game, the Blue Jays (in a joint statement with the Boston Red Sox), said they fully support players’ decisions to join together to bring further awareness to systemic racism.

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks set off a chain reaction on Wednesday, after they walked off the court minutes before the start of their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The Raptors said they “stand with their brothers,” after reposting a Bucks’ statement.

On Thursday, the NHL announced all of its remaining weekday games would be suspended in protest.

The four games that were scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday will be rescheduled starting Saturday, and the league said that the remainder of the second round of playoffs will be adjusted accordingly.

The boycotts spread to other leagues, notably the WNBA, which halted play. Three Major League Baseball games also weren’t played due to player-led boycotts. Five Major League Soccer matches were postponed, as was a WTA tennis tournament.

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