The Players Alliance, made up of more than 100 Black current and former MLB players, announced Thursday that its members will donate their salaries from Thursday's and Friday's games to the organization to support its efforts to combat racial inequality and aid Black families and communities affected by recent events.
MLB is celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on Friday during a week in which three games were postponed Wednesday and seven on Thursday as players reacted to the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin.
"The color of our skin is the uniform we wear every day. We cannot change that," The Players Alliance said in a statement. "What we can change is the pain and injustice the Black community has suffered for far too long. We are determined to use our platform to speak out, and encourage our teammates and fans to help make our voices even louder.
"... We cannot stand idly by and wait for change -- in our game or in our country. We encourage our allies and fans to join us in taking action. With your support, we can and will rewrite our story, creating a more equal world we can all live in together."
Curtis Granderson is the group's president with CC Sabathia and Edwin Jackson also on the board of directors. The active player advisory board consists of Tim Anderson, Dexter Fowler, Dee Gordon, Jason Heyward, Aaron Hicks, Cameron Maybin and Andrew McCutchen.
Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is a member of the group and said Wednesday that he was prepared to sit out that night's game at San Francisco even before both teams chose to postpone it in protest of the shooting of Blake.
Blake was shot seven times by police Sunday as he attempted to enter the driver's side door of his vehicle with three of his children inside. Video of the shooting was distributed on social media, sparking more protests and causing more athletes to speak out or take action.
"For me, I think no matter what, I wasn't going to play tonight," Betts said.
"I have to use my platform to at least get the ball rolling,'' he said.
Heyward was removed from the Cubs' lineup shortly before the start of their game against the Tigers.
"There were multiple guys saying they weren't comfortable going out there and playing if I wasn't going to go out there. They didn't want to leave me hanging," Heyward said. "I let them know, encouraged them -- no, go play the game. I don't think the game should be canceled. But I think I have to do what I have to do.''
While the Rockies played Wednesday, Matt Kemp, a member of The Players Alliance, didn't play and shared his thoughts on Twitter.
"I could not play this game I love so much tonight knowing the hurt and anguish my people continue to feel," he wrote. "In a world where we are the ones who need to remain calm while a trained professional points a gun in our face; a world where the people in uniforms who took an oath to protect us are the same ones killing us; a world where we become hashtags before we even reach our potential; we must stand together, speak out, protest, and be the change we demand, require, and need so bad."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.