NBA Boycotts Disrupt Pro Sports in Wake of Blake Shooting

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[NBA Boycott\Jacob Blake]
NY Times: "The wave of boycotts and postponements was sparked by Milwaukee Bucks players' responding to the shooting of Jacob Blake by refusing to come out of their locker room on Wednesday afternoon for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic."
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Athletes from the N.B.A., W.N.B.A., Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer took their boldest stand yet against systemic racism and police brutality, boycotting games on Wednesday in response to the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis.

The moves dramatically escalated a season of athletes demonstrating for social justice as some expressed doubts about continuing to play amid widespread social unrest.

The wave of boycotts and postponements was sparked by Milwaukee Bucks players' responding to the shooting of Jacob Blake by refusing to come out of their locker room on Wednesday afternoon for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Two more N.B.A. playoff games scheduled for Wednesday night were quickly postponed, inspiring players in other leagues to follow the Bucks’ lead and causing numerous professional basketball, baseball and soccer games to be called off because athletes would not participate.

Players from the N.B.A. and the W.N.B.A. have long been at the forefront of protests against racism and police brutality — efforts that have broadened in recent months after the police killings of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, and Breonna Taylor, a Black woman in Kentucky, and as the leagues took an extended hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then on Sunday, the police in Kenosha, Wis., shot Blake, 29, in the back several times as he tried to get into his vehicle.

The shooting prompted numerous N.B.A. players and coaches to express frustration and anger that the various measures they have been taking for weeks to support the Black Lives Matter movement, such as kneeling during the national anthem and wearing jerseys bearing social justice messages, were having little impact. Some also began to question, as the Nets’ star guard Kyrie Irving did in June before the 2019-20 season resumed, whether providing entertainment through basketball was actually diverting public attention away from the broader social justice movement.

Fueled by that frustration, Milwaukee’s players stunned league officials by organizing Wednesday’s boycott, a walkout that had virtually no precedent in N.B.A. history.

Read the rest of this story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/sports/basketball/nba-boycott-bucks-m...

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