Wednesday night three Major League Baseball games -- Brewers vs. Reds, Dodgers vs. Giants, Mariners vs. Padres -- were postponed as players joined their NBA brethren to protest racial injustice in America following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by police. .
"Given the pain in the communities of Wisconsin and beyond following the shooting of Jacob Blake, we respect the decisions of a number of players not to play tonight," MLB said in a statement. "Major League Baseball remains united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice."
"Just with everything that's going on in the world, I just decided to just take a little notice and take a step back and really just see what's going on," Smith said after the game, according to Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "So that's why I chose tonight. I felt like tonight was the perfect night, especially with other teams canceling their games and especially looking at the NBA. They canceled all their games today. So I just wanted to make a stand like that and just to show my support."
Smith openly wept at times while speaking about the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality during his postgame interview.
"I've been very emotional just to kind of see this continually happen. It was a long day for me. I kind of wasn't there mentally," Smith said, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "I think the most difficult part is to see people still don't care. For this to just continually happen, it just shows just the hate in people's hearts. That just sucks. Being a Black man in America is not easy."
Smith, 25, grew up in South Central Los Angeles and began his baseball life at MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Compton. He's since founded an organization, Baseball Generations, to help inner-city youth in the area.
"There are a lot of things we can do in the inner city just to bring happiness to children," Smith added, per DiComo. "I didn't grow up with money. That (stuff) doesn't mean nothing to me. If you can give your time, that's the thing that matters. That's why I feel so emotional about it, because people get their money and they leave. You can't do that. You've got to be there for the children that's coming up after us. I think that's the biggest thing is if you give your time. That's the only way we can change."