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LAFC’s game against Real Salt Lake will not be played

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The players strike to demand social change.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Los Angeles FC Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club’s game Wednesday at Real Salt Lake will not take place as scheduled, with players banding together to strike in response to events taking place in Kenosha, Wisconsin in recent days.

LAFC confirmed the news roughly 40 minutes before kickoff.

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer on Sunday, leading to widespread outcry and protests in the midwestern city. On Tuesday, a 17-year-old white man, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three protesters, killing two, during protests after curfew and was not arrested until Wednesday, amid more outcry over differential treatment.

A press conference put on in Kenosha Wednesday appeared to stoke even more despair about the entire situation, with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks the first team in American pro sports to go on strike Wednesday. The rest of the NBA teams scheduled to be in action Wednesday quickly joined, as well as the WNBA teams scheduled to play Wednesday.

Major League Baseball games took different approaches, with some postponed due to a player strike and others proceeding with individual players striking on Wednesday. The same is true for MLS — the first game of the day, Orlando City vs. Nashville SC, went ahead, but the remaining five will reportedly not be played Wednesday.

Among the voices throughout the day who spoke up on social media was LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, whose frustration and anger is palpable.

If you will allow me to editorialize for a moment, I wholeheartedly stand with the players. It is not easy to decide to go on strike with the world watching, but after watching the Kenosha leaders ramble today on TV about coming together, blaming people for being shot because they were outside their houses after a curfew, and not bothering to explain anything about the separate shootings that were tearing their city apart, I was incensed. For hundreds of years, the same things happen, hard truths stare people in the faces, and too many refuse to contend with it. That has to change. Let’s work for positive change in our communities right now.