On August 26, 2016, Colin Kapernick took the knee for the very first time at a NFL game in response to police brutality. It was a decision that ended his football career for several years, but it was notable people such as Kaepernick that influenced widespread change. Now amid the largest Black Lives Matter movement to sweep across America and the rest of the globe, NBA players have walked off the court to protest racial injustice during the most important games of the season.
In wake of the cruel shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin (riots have erupted throughout the city) the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for the first of five games during the NBA playoffs on Thursday. Other teams quickly followed suit with games from the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers all postponed after players also refused to take the court.
“F*** this man! We demand change. Sick of it,” LeBron James tweeted the same day.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
“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 will take place with NBA officials and players on how best to proceed with the remaining games.
The boycott has inspired other athletes to do the same with tennis player, Naomi Osaka announcing she would be withdrawing from her semi-final at the Cincinnati Masters. “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.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 27, 2020
According to a statement from the NBA, the three games missed on Thursday would be rescheduled. Stay tuned for further developments.