After the Kenosha shooting incident on Sunday where a black man Jacob Blake was shot in the back while three of his children looked on, players have made a decision to protest in their own way. Players from six of the NBA teams decided to boycott the game that was scheduled on Wednesday. After this news broke out, many other professional leagues started to join the protest. This is considered one of the strongest statements made against racism and injustice in the country. Milwaukee Bucks was the first team who refused to come out of the locker room to play. Milwaukee is only 40 miles away from Kenosha. Sterling Brown, who joined George Hill stated that as no action has been taken against the police, focusing on basketball is not important. The Board of Governors of the NBA had called a meeting on Thursday to discuss this situation.
How is the association reacting to the incident?
The NBA Coaches Association said that the racial injustice and baseless shooting of black men and women is horrendous. Action needs to be taken and not waiting for the playoffs to end. People are calling out on lawmakers to take immediate action on the police brutality and criminal reforms. The Wednesday game has not been rescheduled as of now. But, this might affect the upcoming games if the season should continue. Marc Lasry, the owner of Bucks along with Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said that they support their players. This was their chance to make a change.
Jeanie Buss, the owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers also stated that everyone should come together to fight against this injustice. The arena courts were painted with the phrase Black Lives Matter and the message was also printed on their jerseys. Naomi Osaka also withdrew from the Western and Southern Open semi-final which was scheduled on Thursday. She went on record to say that she is a black woman. She concluded saying that this topic needs immediate attention rather than watching her play tennis.
What are the other sports organizations doing to support the cause?
ATP Tour, WTA and USTA have put a pause on the tournaments. They stated that tennis as a sport is collectively taking a stand against social injustice. Major League Soccer has also called off their games and Women’s NBA has also postponed their fixtures. Michael Jordan, the only black owner of Charlotte Hornets had talked with NBA Players Association. He played a key role in the negotiation. Jordan is a perfect role model to deal with this situation and leading the NBA Association. Black athletes are supporting the movement. They are putting pressure on the authorities to fight against the inequality against the Black people in America.