The Baltimore Orioles will postpone tonight’s game at Oriole Park due to the accelerating turmoil in the city, as protestors react to the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
Protestors already impacted a weekend series at Oriole Park, with the team locking fans in the ballpark on orders from police Saturday night. There were no reported incidents after the game, and Sunday’s game was relatively uneventful.
But with protests accelerating today elsewhere in the city, officials and team leaders are ensuring a safe game situation for fans. That means a postponed game, called an hour before first pitch; most of the gates to the ballpark had already been closed before this decision was made:
After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, tonight’s game between the Orioles & White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 27, 2015
Seven police officers have been injured in the riots, with a CVS looted and a police vehicle set on fire.
The question of where sports fit in the big picture always comes up during a time like this: should games be scrapped or postponed when there are arguably more important societal issues at play. In the case of the Orioles, we have an interesting situation where protestors don’t seem to be targeting the team or tonight’s game — things that Orioles COO John Angelos called “irrelevant” in the bigger picture Saturday:
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.