Forward Madison statement: “That’s why we are postponing Sunday’s game: To shift attention away from sports and towards the fight against systemic discrimination towards Black Americans.” (Photo courtesy of Forward Madison)
By Michael Lewis
There is more soccer fallout from the Jacob Blake shooting and its closer to home.
The Forward Madison FC-North Texas SC match in Milwaukee, Wis., scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison is playing its 2020 home matches in Milwaukee, 45 minutes north of Kenosha, where the shooting of Blake occurred last Sunday.
Since then, Kenosha has seen demonstrations as two protesters were shot dead. A 17-year-old has been charged with murder.
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks announced they weren’t going to play their NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic and the game was postponed. Two other playoff games were postponed.
Five Major League Soccer games also were called off Wednesday night.
“In light of the painful events occurring in our home state and around the nation, the decision was made in collaboration with our players and Black supporters group, the Featherstone Flamingos, in putting the spotlight entirely on the fight against racial injustice and systemic oppression,” Forward Madison said in a statement.
“Last Sunday, we watched the appalling video of a Black man in Wisconsin, Jacob Blake, shot seven times in the back by a police officer. We have said that Black Lives Matter. Our players have protested during games. When there is still no change, we must do more.
“That’s why we are postponing Sunday’s game: To shift attention away from sports and towards the fight against systemic discrimination towards Black Americans. We demand that our state and national leaders take action to address these inequalities, and we encourage our fans to responsibly and peacefully pressure their elected officials for change.”
USL League One, of which Forward Madison is a member, backed its club.
“It’s with pain, frustration, and hope for a brighter future, that the league fully supports the club, its players, supporters, and community as a whole in putting aside soccer in order to shine a spotlight on the fight against racial injustice and systemic oppression,” USL League One said in a statement.
North Texas SC had similar sentiments.
“North Texas SC respects and supports Forward Madison’s decision to postpone Sunday’s match in Milwaukee, Wis.,” a team statement said. “We join them in pausing to reflect on the events and racial injustice affecting our communities across the country.”
USL League One will reschedule the match, which will be announced soon.