The Orioles’ game against the White Sox scheduled for Monday night at Camden Yards was postponed less than an hour before game time due to the race-related rioting that gripped Baltimore.
Rioters angered by the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died last week while in police custody, looted stores, set buildings and police vehicles on fire and threw rocks and bricks at police. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called in the National Guard and declared a state of emergency, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered a week of curfews.
“We feel like we made the decision that would provide us the greatest possible security in terms of protecting the fans, the players, the umpires, everybody involved in the game,” said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who was at the stadium for a previously planned visit. “I don’t know what more I can say about it at this point.”
Protests occurred near the stadium during the Orioles’ series against the Red Sox over the weekend, but on Monday, following Gray’s funeral, the violence escalated.
While police blocked off several streets near the park, Orioles players gathered around a clubhouse television to watch coverage of the violence.
“There’s so many things that go on that you get challenged with, obviously this is a different level,” O’s manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s not a lot of experience with it. … So you try to take each moment as it comes, and I know there were a lot of calls to some guys’ families about making sure they knew what was going on from a safety standpoint. But guys are watching it. They are all aware of what’s going on.”