As the NBA playoffs are in full swing, players have taken a stand against the recent police shooting in Wisconsin that left 29-year-old Jacob Blake’s body riddled with bullets and in a state of paralysis.
On Wednesday evening, the Milwaukee Bucks were a no-call no-show on the court for Game 5 of their first-round matchup vs. the Orlando Magic. Shortly after, the NBA postponed the other 3 playoff games for the night.
“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,” the NBA said in a statement.
Several NBA players have spoken on social media in regards to the walkout:
After Tuesday night’s games, Doc Rivers made an impassioned statement about the recent shooting and how little Black lives matter to some people.
“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” Rivers said. “It’s really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better.
“It’s funny. We protest. They send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens.”
“The training has to change in the police force,” Rivers continued. “The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else.”
In addition to players, NBA commentators also took a stance in regards to the players’ boycott. During the broadcast of Inside The NBA, Kenny Smith got emotional before he walked off the set.
And former NBA star Chris Webber also expressed frustration in regards to police brutality that Black people are subjected to.
“I think the biggest thing now, as a black man and a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and not be here tonight,” he said. “We’ll figure out what happens after that. I just don’t feel equipped to be here.”
But whereas the NBA is just recently standing in solidarity, we can’t forget that the WNBA has been taking stances during their whole season in regards to the Black Lives Matter protests and systemic racism. And by Wednesday evening, they have also decided to postpone their games.