Minnesota sports teams postponed games Monday out of respect for Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Brooklyn Center man killed by police during a traffic stop on Sunday.
Major League Baseball team the Minnesota Twins issued a statement extending sympathies to Wright’s family. The Twins were scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox and will work with the MLB to reschedule the game.
The Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves followed suit, rescheduling regular league play. An NHL team, the Wild, listed May 12 as the new date for its game.
Last August, the NHL postponed four Stanley Cup playoff games to protest racism and police brutality after Jacob Blake’s shooting by Kenosha police. The postponements came when several major league teams and famous players, including Naomi Osaka, spoke out against ongoing racial injustice and police brutality.
Scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets, the Timberwolves did not provide an alternative date. All three teams conferred with their respective leagues before canceling the scheduled games.
Dave Zirin, the sports editor for The Nation, wrote the game cancelations were significant because of the focus on showing support for the families and surrounding community.
He also referenced the players who refused to play after Jacob Blake‘s shooting in Kenosha, WI. Zirin said the teams were “puncturing privilege” of white ticket holders who might otherwise just turn away from the news.
“But sports can and should do so much more than cancel games,” wrote Zirin. “The next step is for these politically connected franchise owners to agitate for some kind of police reform.”
Zirin also noted the stark difference in professional sports team’s responses between now and 1992 during the L.A. uprising. Games continued in L.A. despite unrest in the streets after the verdict in the trial of officers who beat Rodney King.
Protest erupted last night after police killed Daunte Wright on Sunday. Reports allege the police stopped Wright for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror.
At the time of the stop, police found Wright had an outstanding warrant because of outstanding fees for two citations related to marijuana. Wright did not pay the fines and the bill was sent to collections.
During a press conference early Monday, the Brooklyn Center police chief tried to explain the shooting by claiming the officer meant to grab their taser instead of the gun. Officials tried this tired excuse during the killing of Oscar Grant by BART officers 12 years ago.
While some on social media think ‘comply or die’ is a justifiable stance, many continue to demand meaningful action in the wake of Wright’s killing.
The officer was identified Monday night as Kim Potter, president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association. Potter has spent close to a quarter of a century on the force. In her capacity as the police union president, Potter has supported other officers in on-the-job shootings.
What We Know About Kim Potter: Cop Who Couldn’t Determine Gun From Taser After Fatally Shooting Daunte Wright
Police Chief Says Cop Mistakenly Shot Daunte Wright, Recycles Same Excuse Used In Death Of Oscar Grant
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