On Wednesday evening, 6 NBA teams decided to postpone their playoff games because they want to bring attention to the police brutality that Black people are facing in America. Today's boycott is in response to the shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was shot 7 times in the back on Sunday evening while getting in the car in front of his 3 children.
The boycott was started by the Milwaukee Bucks, who play in the same state where Mr. Blake was shot, who play less than an hour away from where the shooting occurred. The Bucks were led to boycott by their point guard, George Hill. Hill said, “We shouldn’t have even come to this damn place to be honest,” Hill said. “I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are. We are tired of the killings and injustice.” The Bucks were to face the Magic in game 5 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, but opted not to play. While the Magic were not given prior notice, their forward, Michael Carter-Williams said, “We weren’t given advance notice about the decision, but we are happy to stand in solidarity with Milwaukee, Jacob and the entire N.B.A. community. “Change is coming.”
The effect of the Bucks and Magic boycotting was felt around the league, with the OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets and the Lakers vs Blazers also joining onboard to boycott. LeBron tweeted out, "F*CK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT." We know LeBron has been keeping the social justice issues front of mind, spending millions of dollars to help people vote in December and recruit poll workers to lessen the load of those manning long lines.
Also joining the NBA in boycotting games this evening is the WNBA. They were scheduled to have 3 games this evening and met right before tip-off at 7pm to decide to be with their NBA brothers and take a stand this evening. Kenny Smith, NBA on TNT analyst was live on air and decided to walk off set to be with his brothers in the NBA, supporting them in their boycott. Also boycotting playing today are the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds of the MLB. The jumbo-tron at the stadium for their game that was supposed to be played now reads, "JUSTICE, EQUALITY NOW".
It is chilling that all of this is happening on the exact day of the 4 year anniversary of Colin Kaepernick who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem because he wanted to spark conversation about police brutality against people of color and systemic oppression.
While this will not solve the problem, it will continue to bring attention to and conversation about the inequities Black people face in America. We need action, we need legislation, we need justice, we need people fired, we need people jailed.
BLACK LIVES MATTER TODAY, TOMORROW, AND FOREVER MORE!!!