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Philadelphia Union organization, players back player strikes calling for justice for Jacob Black

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All but one game Wednesday was called off in MLS after players followed the Milwaukee Bucks lead and decided not to play

Atlanta United FC v Inter Miami CF Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Philadelphia Union players and the organization is showing their support for player protests calling for justice for Jacob Black that led to five postponements of matches in Major League Soccer on Wednesday night.

“The Philadelphia Union stand alongside the many athletes across multiple sports who made a statement tonight,” the statement released by the club reads. “We support the decision of the players and teams. We are united with our players, staff and the Philadelphia community in demanding accountability for racial injustice.”

Players from the teams led the protest Wednesday night after the Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the day announced with a public statement that they would not be participating in the scheduled playoff game against Orlando.

“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable,” the statement read in part. “We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement. We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable.”

Blake was shot in the back multiple times by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday with his three sons in the car. Protests that followed led to the deaths of two people in a shooting on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie spoke out about the Blake shooting in post-game interviews Tuesday both on the live broadcast and in the post-game press conference.

“He’s shot seven times in the back in front of his children, his three sons in the back seat,” McKenzie told reporters over Zoom. “What does that do for them now the traumatic experience at such a young age, to see that happen to a father? This is a reality of being black in America and even with all the quote unquote progress we tried to make you take another 10 steps back and so again we are still waiting on justice for Breonna Taylor’s killers. Now we’re demanding justice for Jacob Blake.”

After Orlando City and Nashville kicked off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the remaining five games were postponed. That included Inter Miami vs Atlanta United, FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake vs LAFC, San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders.

While MLS put out a statement implying that the league had postponed the games, LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye and others took to Twitter to dispute the statement saying it was a decision made by the players.

The Union are scheduled to host D.C. United on Saturday evening at Subaru Park at 7:30 p.m. in one of nine games on the league schedule. Montreal is slated to play Toronto on Friday night in the next league game on the schedule.