By: ENZO MORALES
In the midst of the NBA Playoffs, the apparent shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last August 23, 2020, has caused numerous protests around the world. It was just months ago when Geroge Floyd and Breonna Taylor were victims of police injustice which caught the attention of the world. The idea of racial injustice against people of color has again been highlighted. People started to question if the phrase “Equality” really exists and if “Black Lives” really matters. Although, despite this occurrence, the NBA Playoffs still resumed last August 17, 2020, and is now on the brink of having another stoppage.
The NBA games that were supposed to be played today have been boycotted. The Bucks started it all after not appearing on the court minutes before the Magic and Bucks game. The Thunder, Rockets, Lakers, and Blazers then followed and boycotted their games which gained respect across the league. The WNBA also suspended all its games and photos have been seen of players wearing shirts the spell out Jacob Blake with seven shots on the back of the shirts. Pictures of all the WNBA players kneeling down to show their respects have also been shown.
Inside the NBA host, Kenny Smith showed support to the players by walking off the show with solidarity and saying “For me, I think the biggest thing now is to kind of — as a black man, as a former player — I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here.(Per:https://uproxx.com/dimemag/watch-kenny-smith-leave-nba-tnt-set-strike-jacob-blake-kenosha-video/)
Coach Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers also made a heartfelt comment last Tuesday and said, “It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back, It’s really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better. It’s funny. We protest. They send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens. The training has to change in the police force, The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else. (Per:https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29740593/clippers-coach-doc-rivers-jacob-blake-shooting-got-demand-better)”
Many of the coaches and players have also expressed that wearing “Black Lives Matter” and kneeling down during the National Anthem does not help the idea of supporting racial injustice. Coach of the Year, Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors said in an interview, “I have a heard a couple of our guys say they were thinking about going home. (Per: https://www.thescore.com/nba/news/2009520)” Pascal Siakam also said, ”We came here for a reason, to use our platform, and wanting to send a message and hopefully bring awareness to make a change. (Per: https://www.thescore.com/nba/news/2009520)”
There have also been reports of a meeting held by the NBA that consists of every single NBA player in the bubble. The meeting was supposedly going to dictate whether the NBA Playoffs will resume or it will come to another halt. The Lakers and Clippers were the only teams who decided not to push through the season while every other team voted to resume the season.
Although this may seem to be a challenging time because of the many injustices and racism around the world, certainly the players are showing their support by making a stand and speaking to what they think is right. Although this may be viewed as a bad representation of the players as there has been many criticisms directed towards them and their beliefs, but they continue to march towards all these criticisms and block them away to show us that injustice is wrong and that the idea of equality should be present.