The Baltimore Orioles' game at Camden Yards was postponed Monday night, as riots spread through West Baltimore following Freddie Gray's funeral and a social media-charged "purge."
"After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, tonight’s game between the Orioles & White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed," the team's Twitter alerted fans. Orioles' COO John Angelos, the son of owner Peter Angelos, then took to his own Twitter to deliver a powerful statement about the situation in Baltimore, USA Today reports.
"The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, one that far exceeds the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards," Angelos wrote. "We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans."
Angelos comments came after Baltimore sports radio host Brett Hollander criticized the protestors, saying their measures were counterproductive. In Angelos' long exchange with Hollander, the COO shared a thorough explanation on why tensions in the city were building even before Gray's death ignited the riots.
"My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts," Angelos wrote, "but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle-class and working-class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American's civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said after the Orioles game was postponed, "We feel like we made the decision that would provide us the greatest possible security in terms of protecting the fans, players, the umpires, everybody involved in the game." While protestors began gathering outside Camden Yards over the weekend – resulting in a brief lockdown Saturday night following the Orioles game – Monday's riots themselves never made it to the city's Inner Harbor, where the stadium is located.
With a state of emergency declared in Baltimore, a strict 10 p.m. curfew now in place citywide and the state's National Guard called in to quell the riots, Tuesday's Orioles game against the White Sox was also postponed.