NBA Protests: Basketball Can Wait

Aug 26, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; The court and benches are empty of players and coaches at the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks initiated a movement yesterday afternoon that led to a domino-like succession of sports taking a pause around the United States, excluding the NHL. The Bucks made the decision to boycott game five of their first round series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a man shot in the back seven times by an officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 40 miles from Milwaukee.

With their momentous decision, other teams followed suit as the Rockets and Thunder boycotted the fifth game of their series followed by the Lakers and Trailblazers.

The protested play caught on around the sports world with the MLB, MLS, and WNBA canceling games, and even some NFL teams canceled practice.

The NBA scheduled a meeting last night to discuss the best path forward for the NBA and the postseason. When teams were polled to either continue or cancel the rest of the playoffs, both LA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, voted to end the season.

This meeting was not a final decision, and the NBA will meet again today to discuss further details, but yesterday shows that there are many things that are bigger than sports, especially in this era. As of now, today’s three games are postponed, but the playoffs should continue at some point. 

Those who make up the NBA, the players, 80% of whom are black men, are tired of the inequality and bias that permeates the parts of society not drenched in spotlight. Now, they want owners to start using their resources to support the players consensus. Many star players spoke out on Twitter:

Even Sacramento Kings celebrities are speaking out for change:

The NBA showed a lot of effort getting its bubble league going in order to finish out the season in Orlando. Now it’s time to show some real effort by putting the everyday matters aside, even if they’re fun, even if they pack a profit, and bring focus to the glaring issues of our time. The players have already started this path forward. 

This is the time for community and for support. Come together, stand up for what’s right, and stand with those who see the big picture. Basketball can wait. 

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