San Jose Quakes Cancel Match to Protest Jacob Blake’s Shooting

The San Jose Earthquakes were already dressed in uniform and ready to take the field in Wednesday’s scheduled home match against the Portland Timbers—the first pro sports event in Santa Clara County since the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March.

Instead, the team seized the spotlight to make a statement in support of racial injustice.

Like teams in the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB, as well as athletes in pro tennis, the Quakes eschewed the game in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the shooting of Jacob Blake—the latest high-profile victim of police violence.

“We felt it wasn’t justified for us to go out there,” Chris Wondolowski, the Quakes’ all-time leading goal scorer, said of the gesture. “We came to a [unanimous] decision because Wednesday was a great platform where we could speak about this. … We don’t want lip service anymore. It’s time for actual actions to be made.”

The canceled games earlier this week proved to be an unprecedented moment in sports history, as players and teams continue to protest systemic racism.

The shooting of Blake prompted the Milwaukee Bucks to pass on Game 5 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

The dominoes started to fall after that, as the NBA postponed the three remaining scheduled playoff games on the schedule.

The MLB and WNBA each tabled three games, while the MLS postponed five matches that were set for Wednesday night.

The shows of solidarity have continued from there.

“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities,” Bucks players said in a joint statement. “Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

Since strikes are banned under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Bucks athletes broke their own contract in order to protest racial injustice and police violence. Wondolowski, 37, credited the Bucks for their boldness.

Hopefully, he added, these kinds of protests will hasten real change.

“For the Milwaukee Bucks to do that, to have that courage and take that stand, it helped pave the way and shine light on a new path we could go where we could take this,” Wondolowski said in an interview today.

Wednesday’s cancelations could prove a watershed moment in pro sports history.

Over the years, some athletes’ protests have led to monumental changes, even if it took a couple of decades to realize. Some even changed hearts and minds of the general public. For many pro athletes, despite the backlash they experience, that is exactly the point.

“I love this game,” said Wondolowski, who has announced he will be retiring after this season. “This game is part of my life, but we’re talking about something way, way bigger than this. We’re talking about human beings not being treated equally. … If I never play another game, I’ll have the biggest smile on my face if [our actions] could change even one or two people’s lives. It would be all worth it.”

Wondolowski, who is half Native American, described a poignant moment when he came home Wednesday night and explained to his daughters why he didn’t play.

“It was crazy, surreal—something that should not be taking place but needs to be taking place,” he recounted. “That’s why we’re taking this step. Mothers and fathers talking to their kids and telling them we’re not playing because of racial inequality, and why we would do it again in a heartbeat to show that every human being is the same and equal.”

11 Comments

  1. oh jeez

    why don’t these leagues go on strike when latinos get shot by police?

    rassssists!

  2. Will Jed York disavos anyone associated with the 49ers who participated in or was associated with anyone who participated in past racist incidents?

  3. “the shooting of Jacob Blake—the latest high-profile victim of police violence.” — Emanuel Lee

    Mr. Lee, along with the leaders and some of the members of major league teams, have demonstrated two things: the mistaken belief that they are in a position to intelligently judge the shooting in question, and their absolute contempt for due process. In doing so they reveal a remarkable level of ignorance about their own analytical limitations and the lessons history provides regarding the horrors of mob rule.

    Their tantrum will win them cheers from like-minded idiots and lose them fans who just want them to do what they do best, entertain us by bouncing, shooting, kicking, hitting, and throwing balls to each other.

  4. Well said.

    Disrespect for due process is the real issue here.

    The woke mob’s (and the sensationalist media’s) contempt for awaiting the facts and allowing the legal system to provide justice is appalling and dangerous. Justice will not be achieved by rioting — or by pampered athletes engaging in ignorant tantrums. Justice — including and especially racial justice — can only exist where due process is respected. Any school kid who has read “To Kill a Mockingbird” should know that. But apparently no one affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes does.

  5. Well, then, just don’t play ANY soccer games ever again until all violence against blacks ends.

    Oh, and be sure to include violence against blacks BY BLACKS.

    Ridiculous, fake, insincere, phony corporate virtue signalling.

  6. “…teams in the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB, as well as athletes in pro tennis, the Quakes eschewed the game in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement…”

    The politicalization of professional sports has definitive consequences. Loss of revenue, viewership, declining ticket sales to name a few is sure to occur.

    Screw the Marxist and Racial Hate Organization identified as Black Lives Matter.

    David S. Wall

  7. > Like teams in the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB, as well as athletes in pro tennis, the Quakes eschewed the game in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

    There is going to be a reckoning for the corporate virtual signalers who endorse and support the “Black Lives Matter” agenda.

    BLM is not a “black” movement. It is a neo-Marxist movement with a fervently neo-Marxist agenda.

    High on the list of BLM’s objectives for society is destruction of the nuclear family.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/black-lives-matter-and-the-family-11595530123

    “Black Lives Matter and the Family”

    “The organization’s website says:

    We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

    America has NOT asked for the destruction of the nuclear family.

    Corporate support of Black LIves Matter is corporate support for destruction of the nuclear family and the destruction of western civilization.

    NBA, MLS, MBA, NHL, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Cisco, and dozens of dozens of corporate suits who sold out their shareholders, employees, and civilization for a pat on the head and a stroke behind the ears by radical culture warriors are, sooner or later, going to pay a price for their fecklessness and cravenness.

    People are NOT racists. People are NOT happy with corporations who recycle the consumer’s dollars into family destruction and indictments of racism of those who pay the bills.

  8. Black Lives Matter ! Those of the racist,right-wing crackpots whose lives revolve around seeing their disgusting rhetoric in print here -not one iota !!

  9. Ironically, while San Jose’s woke pro sports franchises — the Earthquakes and the Sharks — are quite willing to offer political messaging in support of Black Lives Matter, which is ambiguously both a social justice movement and a Marxist and anti-Semitic and anti-family organization (by its own admission), these teams are thus far unwilling to condemn the political intimidation of San Jose’s mayor through the vandalizing of his home, ostensibly by Black Lives Matter (or those posing as their adherents.

    There can be little question that the sports teams are choosing sides in the current political maelstrom. The Earthquakes (until very recently, after I requested that it be removed) were promoting donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund on their website. MFF is the group whose mission is to bail out rioters. Hence, the Quakes tacitly supported rioting. And, for their part, the Sharks have publicly shamed their star player, Logan Couture, on their Twitter account for being sucker-punched in Toronto as a Trump supporter, publicizing his apology for daring to mention that he was physically assaulted for his disfavored political beliefs.

    Yet, more than two days later, neither team can muster the moral courage to publicly condemn the vandalism at our mayor’s house last Friday night. This is disgraceful. Neither team deserves our support until they publicly condemn the political violence in their own backyard.

  10. Let all these bloviating pampered, spoiled sports millionaires go play their petty little irrelevant banal sports in communist China while wearing their $500 sneakers made by Chinese slave laborers. Do these sports brats even know what happened yet? Did they see the knife in the hand of St. Blake yet or not?