On Wednesday, August 26th – four years to the day that Colin Kaepernick began his protests in the NFL against police brutality. Ironically against the Green Bay Packers – NBA players inside the playoff bubble took a unified stand. It began when the Milwaukee Bucks decided to sit out Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
The move was in protest to another unarmed Black person being shot at the hands of police. Jacob Blake (29) was shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin after breaking up a fight. His three children were in the car. Blake survived, but is paralyzed. Kenosha is 35 miles south of Milwaukee.
The players on the rest of soon followed, which left the NBA with no option but to postpone Wednesday’s games, and potentially Thursday’s slate as well.
The NBA and the NBPA 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 – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.
— NBA (@NBA) August 26, 2020
Reportedly Bucks’ players used the time in the locker room to have a conference call with Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.
The Milwaukee Bucks make a statement pic.twitter.com/6I0gfclzHG
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) August 26, 2020
In 2018, Bucks’ Sterling Brown was a victim of police brutality in Wisconsin. While at a Walgreens, police officers surrounded him, with the situation ending in Brown being tased while an officer had a knee on his neck and another stood on his ankle.
At least four major sports leagues followed the NBA players lead Wednesday and canceled games. From Major League baseball, the Dodgers and Giants, Mariners and Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are all on the Zoom call explaining the teams' decision not to play tonight.
Betts said no matter what he wasn't going to play: "They all were by my side. I couldn't ask for better teammates than what I have here."
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) August 27, 2020
Kenny “the Jet” Smith staged his own protest on “Inside the NBA” and walked off set.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
Chris Webber discussed the pain of having to explain to young children what is happening in these moments.
WNBA players stood in solidarity with the NBA, canceling their games for the evening as well. The Washington Mystics donned shirts that spelled out Jacob Blake’s name, with seven bullet holes depicted on the back, representing the number of times he was shot.
Those are bullet holes on the back of the Mystics tees, that spelled out Jacob. pic.twitter.com/tmef9o736e
— stilettojill (@StilettoJill) August 26, 2020
The league has been on the forefront with taking a stand for social justice long before it became trendy or cool.
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) September 24, 2017
Check the date, that’s 2017. 3 years ago…
Tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from her semi-finals match at the Western and Southern Open. Which in turn caused the WTA to suspend play for Thursday.
MLS players got on board as well, with several games being canceled.
Inter Miami and Atlanta United stand together in solidarity as they boycott their match tonight. pic.twitter.com/AuJDSbNvQ1
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 27, 2020
LA Football Club’s Mark-Anthony Kaye had this to add on Twitter, after MLS released a statement.
We as players made the decision. Fix this, please give the right narrative. https://t.co/0Qhb8L7dMc
— Mark-Anthony Kaye (@MarkThEwizz) August 27, 2020
The only sport whose show went on… the NHL.
The San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane says it's insulting the NHL hasn't acknowledged the police shooting of Jacob Blake. pic.twitter.com/phxrC8x2o5
— ESPN (@espn) August 27, 2020
Tuesday night following the Clippers victory, Doc Rivers shared raw emotion in discussing the on-going injustices that Black people have faced, especially at the hands of law enforcement.