US Sport Halted After Jacob Blake Shooting
hree NBA playoff games, three MLB games, three WNBA games, and five MLS games were postponed on August 26 in response to the shooting of black American, Jacob Blake in Wisconsin last week.
The move to boycott the matches was led by Milwaukee Bucks players, who became the only professional sports team ever to refuse to play a game due to social injustice, after discussions with Wisconsin government officials in a locker room meeting.
The Bucks players released a statement following their decision, which was read by George Hill, saying: “When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort, and hold each other accountable,” Hill said.
“We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable.
“For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform,” the statement said.
The Milwaukee Bucks owners made a statement in support of the boycott, saying they fully support the players and agree with the decision.
“We fully support our players and the decision they made,” the Bucks ownership group said in a statement.
“Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them.
“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,” they said.
Following the announcement from the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA decided to postpone its two other playoff games, between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, and the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
This postponement of games is reportedly threatening to put an early end to the NBA playoffs in particular, which is still in the first round, putting the NBA’s revised broadcast deals in jeopardy once again and throwing new partnerships the NBA announced specifically for the bubble restart in question.
The MLB followed suit, cancelling matches between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
The WNBA then followed the NBA’s lead in postponing its three scheduled matches for the day, and the MLS postponed five of its six games on the day.
The NBA Players Association (NBPA), Coaches Association, and teams around the league took to social media to show their support of the Bucks’ players decision.
NBPA executive director, Michele Roberts, said, in a statement, the shooting is “all too familiar”.
“Throughout the season restart, our players have been unwavering in their demands for systemic justice,” Roberts said.
“This week we witnessed another horrific, shocking and all too familiar act of brutality in the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“The players have, once again, made it clear they will not be silent on this issue.
“We stand with the decision of the players of the Milwaukee Bucks to protest this injustice and support the collective decision to postpone all of today’s games,” she said.