NBA Teams Bail From Playoff Games And Season Over Jacob Blake Shooting

NBA Teams Bail From Playoff Games And Season Over Jacob Blake Shooting

The National Basketball Association is in shambles after a meeting on Wednesday evening discussing the potential boycott of the season over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man police shot seven times after he reportedly wielded a knife. Sources have told reporters that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers committed to boycotting the rest of the season to protest what they view as racial injustice.

According to reporters, the players and coaches in the meeting discussed their time in “the bubble,” an isolated method supposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst teams in Orlando, as well as race relations, and whether the playoffs should continue.

Many of the players reportedly want to “finish out the season since sacrifices were made to enter the bubble” during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others appeared to be “passionate” about “voting and police reform” and determining a course of action.

Basketball Season Boycotted

According to sources, LeBron James, joined by players on the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers walked out of the meeting after announcing that they “voted to boycott the NBA season.”

Reports later Wednesday night suggested that after he walked out, James and other players were headed to Washington D.C. on a private jet to protest at the White House.

The Clipper’s owner, Steven Ballmer, released a statement in support of the team’s decision, encouraging bipartisan “police accountability” and “criminal justice reform.”

The Lakers also released a statement detailing their decision to end their season, claiming that “now is also the time for us to say enough.”

“We cannot love them for the joy and entertainment that they bring to the world, yet sit in silence and fail to use our platforms and resources to amplify their voices when they demand the justice and equality that America has promised us all, but denied Black people for too long,” the statement said.

Bucking The System

The meeting occurred after the Milwaukee Bucks failed to appear on the court during their scheduled game five playoff time on Wednesday afternoon as a protest of the shooting of Blake, a black man, by police in their home state of Wisconsin.

“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand for the officers to be held accountable,” their official statement read.

According to CNN, “strikes are banned under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.” The Bucks, however, paid no mind to their contracts and used their time in the locker room to call Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul to demand change and ask for the Wisconsin legislature to reconvene.

Milwaukee Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, and Jamie Dinan came out in support of the players’ decision but noted that they were not warned of tonight’s decision ahead of time.

“We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them,” said the official statement. “The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”

President Obama also tweeted his support of the Bucks’s decision in “standing up for what they believe in.”

“It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values,” he wrote.

All For One And One For All

Since the Bucks’s decision, many other NBA and WNBA teams also chose to postpone their playoff games on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Some MLB and MLS teams even joined in the boycott, citing solidarity with the Bucks’s decision.

Solidarity While Keeping The Salary

While many of these teams did not commit to forfeiting their entire season, many posted in support of Blake and Black Lives Matter, calling for an end of police using force against black Americans.

Will The NBA Drop The Ball?

An emergency NBA Board of Governors meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning concerning Wednesday’s events. There, the NBA will discuss the potential continuation of the season as well as how to handle the pressure by their players to address grievances about police interactions with blacks.

 

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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