Five MLS fixtures have been postponed amid protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the United States.
Blake – a black man – was repeatedly shot in the back by police in Wisconsin and the incident has prompted nationwide protests within professional sports.
Now, MLS has joined in postponing matches after all three of Wednesday's NBA playoff games were called off in Orlando, Florida midweek.
While Orlando City's clash against Nashville kicked off as scheduled, the Inter Miami-Atlanta United, Dallas-Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake-Los Angeles FC, San Jose Earthquakes-Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders fixtures were postponed as athletes fight against racial injustice.
Powerful scenes as @InterMiamiCF and @ATLUTD players opt not to take to the pitch for their @MLS match, moments before it was due to begin, in the latest boycott over racial injustice and police brutality in America pic.twitter.com/rweMovDwnH— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_AUS) August 27, 2020
In an earlier statement, the MLS said: "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.
"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."
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers-Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder showdowns in the Western Conference were also postponed.
The Milwaukee Brewers-Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners-San Diego Padres games were also called off in MLB midweek, while two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka announced she will skip Thursday's Western & Southern Open semi-final in New York.