The NBA players have had enough and have decided to make a serious stance.
Throughout the entirety of the NBA bubble in Orlando, the players have used their platforms to protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
“WE DEMAND CHANGE”
NBA superstar LeBron James has continued to be a leader by calling for change and on Thursday he didn’t hold back.
“F*** this man! We demand change. Sick of it,” LeBron James tweeted.
In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, the time for action was required and it all started with the Milwaukee Bucks as they refused to step foot on the floor for game five of their first round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Thursday morning (AEST).
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After the Bucks and Magic game was called off, the remaining two games scheduled for the day were also postponed with the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers refusing to take to the floor.
“The Bucks players made this decision in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, ultimately deciding that they wouldn’t leave the locker room for the start of Game 5 against Orlando,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted.
A meeting is set to take place between the NBA and the players today to discuss how to proceed with the remaining playoff games.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix said the playoffs could be over with discussions among several teams about leaving the bubble and returning home.
“Question is no longer if players are prepared to boycott one game — that’s happened. It’s how many they will. There have been discussions among several teams, notably Toronto, about going home,” Mannix wrote.
Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes said a large portion of players are wanting to finish the season.
After the Bucks opted to boycott their playoff game, the Major League Baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds was called off with two other MLB games following suit. Along with the NBA, the WNBA and MLS also postponed the scheduled Thurday games.
TENNIS GRAND SLAM CHAMPION JOINS CRUSADE
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka annouced she would be withdrawing from her semi-final at the Cincinnati Masters as she joins the protests across the sporting world.
“Before I am a athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” Osaka tweeted.
“SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE”
The NBA announced in a statement the three games would be rescheduled.
Blake was shot in the back seven times at close range by police officers after breaking up a fight between two women.
Miraculously Blake survived but was later confirmed to be paralysed from the waist down. The shooting rocked America and led to widespread protests, following in the wake of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor deaths.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was strong in his stance the time for serious action had arrived.
“We tried the peaceful way, kneeling, we tried to protest, we tried to come out here and get together and play this game and tried to get our voice across, but it’s not working. So, obviously, something has to be done,” he said.
NBA players, teams and legends of the game threw their support behind the Bucks’ move not to take the floor in protest of the recent shooting.
“For those who don’t understand what going on, it will always be bigger than basketball! We demand change!!! We demand justice! Have a blessed day,” Warriors guard Eric Paschall wrote.
“We demand justice,” Denver’s Jamal Murray tweeted.
“We demand change! Salute @Bucks,” Utah’s Donovan Mitchell tweeted.
“This sh*t bigger than basketball! Whoever don’t understand that is part of the problem,” DeMar DeRozan wrote.
“I’m moved by all the @NBA players for standing up for what is right. To my man @TheJetOnTNT I would like to say Thank you for what you did to show your support for the players. I am so proud of you. Keep getting in good trouble,” 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell wrote.
“@Bucks power. Black power. Nothing but respect for Milwaukee’s players and coaches,” Scottie Pippen wrote.