Amir Garrett calls decision not to play ’a great call’ by Brewers, Reds

Amir Garrett saw the decision coming. He knew the Milwaukee Bucks had walked off the court in Orlando. He saw Milwaukee Brewers players huddling. Then Cincinnati Reds teammate Mike Moustakas told him the Brewers had decided not to play Wednesday night.

“It was a weight off my shoulders,” Garrett said.

By that, Garrett meant he didn’t have to debate by himself if he should play. He had the support of his teammates, who supported the Brewers, who followed the lead of the Bucks and other teams in the NBA.

All the decisions came three days after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisc. Kenosha is 40 miles from Milwaukee.

The point of the not playing Wednesday, Garrett said, was to make people think.

“If situations don’t necessarily affect you, you don’t care about them,” Garrett said. “What we did last night and what other teams were doing, we’re not playing, so we were making people feel uncomfortable. They didn’t get the luxury of seeing us play a ballgame, and a lot of people were upset about it, but guess what, there’s a lot of other people upset about a lot of other things that are going on in the world and nobody cares. I thought that was big time for us.”

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Garrett spoke out about his own experiences with racial injustice in early July and has been active on social media all summer since the protests following George Floyd’s death swept the nation. The latest incident reinforced his desire to keep the topic at the front of everyone’s mind.

“We can’t keep moving on in this world like nothing is wrong,” Garrett said. “That’s the problem. We keep moving forward without any changes. You saw that happen with George Floyd. It died down a little bit. I knew that was going to happen. It always happens. Here we are again. We’re in the same spot we were in three months ago. All they want to do is sweep it under the rug. Sports is basically a bandaid for that. I strongly feel the reason George Floyd got so much publicity is there was nothing on TV and that brought awareness to the situation. Us not playing yesterday was a great call, and who knows what we do today. We’ll see.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the Reds and Brewers were scheduled to finish their four-game series and make up the game as part of a doubleheader that would start at 5:10 p.m.

The Reds-Brewers game was one of four postponed around baseball Wednesday. The NBA postponed three playoff games, as did the WNBA. Five Major League Soccer games were postponed.

Garrett praises his teammates for being supportive and having an open mind. At the same time, he said these are trying times.

“Every time I think about it, you get emotional,” Garrett said. “You shouldn’t be in this position. We should not be here right now. It just sucks that I have to continue to talk about this over and over. It’s very draining in 2020 to talk about racism and color. We were supposed to be past this. The world is supposed to be a better place. It’s just not.”

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