The Milwaukee Bucks caused shockwaves throughout the NBA on Thursday when they made the decision to not play in game 5 of the first-round playoff series. This decision on the part of the Bucks caught the attention of other teams in the league as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets also decide to sit-out game 5. These sporadic announcements forced the NBA to postpone both games in addition to the Lakers-Trail Blazers game.
All of these sit-outs are a result of the unjust shooting of Jacob Blake who is a 29-year old African American man who was brutalized by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin this past Sunday. The teams who’re protesting are working towards achieving social justice and racial equality for black Americans.
Blake was shot in the back 7 times by police as he was reaching into his car trying to retrieve his small child. Blake survived the shooting but has sustained life-altering injuries as a result of the incident.
What it means
With the unjust shooting of Jacob Blake taking place directly in Wisconsin, it’s easy to see why the team decided not to play on Thursday. The Bucks have sparked a national movement as teams in the MLB and WNBA have postponed games in ab act of solidarity with the Bucks. The shooting of Jacob Blake couldn’t come at a worse time as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd are still fresh on everyone’s mind.
Since the re-commencement of the 2020 NBA season after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, many players have been showing their support for social change by wearing shirts that read messages like Black Lives Matter and more. The official Twitter account for the Milwaukee Bucks released a statement in which they reinforced their support for all of their players.
Barack Obama even chimed in on all of the commotion surrounding the NBA by tweeting the following: “I commend the players on the @Bucksfor standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBAand @WNBAfor setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.”
The NBA also released a statement on their official Twitter account stating the following: “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.”
What to expect
As so many things are seemingly coming to a head in society, these NBA teams and other major sports league teams deciding to take an actionable step towards societal advancement is much needed. While there has been no new updated as of now regarding how the remainder of the 2020 NBA season will play out, several teams, coaches, and NBA staff are holding meetings to discuss how to move forward.