SALT LAKE CITY — An hour before the game, Real Salt Lake announced they would not be playing Wednesday night amid player protests over social justice and racial equality.
In solidarity with the players from both teams, tonight's match has been canceled. pic.twitter.com/ryxJhrVTk6— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) August 27, 2020
This comes as MLB and NBA games have been canceled as players protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Tonight's game was the first that fans were invited to watch in person since the beginning of the pandemic.
Major League Soccer put out a statement saying they are "deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake." Later, they put out a secondary statement postponing all five scheduled matches for Wednesday night.
The game was sold out with 5,000 people planning to go. COVID-19 precautions only allowed the stadium to be 25% capacity.
Fans who learned the news just outside the front gates Wednesday evening were visibly upset, and expressed disbelief that the game was called off. One person asked event staff, "Is this a joke?" when a staff member made the announcement.
As people started to walk out of the stadium, some told Fox 13 that they wondered if the game would be canceled before they arrived.
Others said they understand the social issues, but felt that postponing the game was "unfortunate" and not fair to fans who had been looking forward to seeing the team for the first time in person, since the start of COVID-19.
Refunds and possible rescheduling plans will be released in the coming days.