Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Led by NBA, Athletes Again Put Focus on Racial Justice
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
August 27, 2020

Share

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — NBA players didn’t come to Disney solely for a restart. They also wanted social reform.

The Milwaukee Bucks showed how far they’re willing to go to get it by opting not to play in their playoff game Wednesday. Two more games were postponed later in the day, the second time this season NBA basketball came to an immediate halt.

Other sports followed, just as they did in March when the season was suspended four months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Later Thursday, the NBA’s board of governors will meet and likely address whether the playoff games scheduled for the night will be played. The players also will meet separately to decide how long the stoppage lasts.

“The biggest thing that we all understand is if we’re not playing, what are we doing? What are we doing to show and to help what’s going on outside this bubble?” Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams said, shortly before the Bucks were scheduled to tip off their game against the Orlando Magic.

Instead, the Bucks players remained in the locker room, finally emerging hours later to read a statement demanding action from lawmakers and encouraging voting by citizens.

They changed the narrative across the entire sports landscape, putting the focus squarely on social justice reform in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while three of his children in his car looked on.

More Lost NBA Games Would Be Another Punishing Financial Blow

While players and teams from baseball, the WNBA, MLS and tennis sat out their competitions Wednesday night, NBA players and coaches met for nearly three hours in a Disney hotel to determine next steps, including whether the season should continue. They did not come to a consensus, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details weren’t revealed publicly.

The Western & Southern Open won’t be played Thursday, with the U.S. Tennis Association, along with the ATP and WTA Tours, announcing play would be paused after two-time Grand Slam women’s champion Naomi Osaka had already said she wouldn’t play her semifinal match.

“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction,” Osaka tweeted. “Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach.”

More lost NBA games would be another punishing financial blow in a season in which the league was already headed to losses of hundreds of million of dollars, potentially leading to ramifications that would be felt in future years.

An empty court and bench are shown following the scheduled start time of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Toronto Coach Nick Nurse Said He’s Heard Some Players on His Team Say They Were Thinking About Going Home

Before coming to Disney, many NBA players wrestled for weeks about whether it was even right to play, fearing that a return to games would take attention off the deaths of, among others, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in recent months.

They ultimately decided coming to the bubble and playing televised games would give them the largest platform, though now at least some are wondering if that’s still true. Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he’s heard some players on his team say they were thinking about going home.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers hopes they won’t.

His players considered boycotting a playoff game in 2014 after audio tapes featuring former owner Donald Sterling were revealed. He said this time is different because it’s the whole league, rather than one team, weighing the decision.

“I think every team has to decide what they want to do and honestly I hope everyone plays,” Rivers said. “I just think showing the excellence in doing your job, there’s nothing wrong with that, but also fighting for what’s right is important as well.”

It certainly is for the Bucks, who play about 40 miles from Kenosha. Sterling Brown, one of the players to read the statement, has a federal lawsuit pending against the city of Milwaukee alleging he was targeted because he was Black and that his civil rights were violated in January 2018 when officers used a stun gun on him after a parking violation.

It’s Going To Take More Than Players Sitting Out NBA Games

And it is for the Raptors, whose team president, Masai Ujiri, had an altercation with an Oracle Arena security guard after Game 6 of last year’s NBA Finals. A video of it released recently appears to show an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy initially shoved Ujiri, who is Black, twice.

They are scheduled to open the second round Thursday against Boston, but Nurse said his players were already having discussions about not playing.

“Boycotting the game has come up for them and again, as a way to try to demand a little more action and I think that’s really what they want,” Nurse said.

“I think there’s enough attention and there’s not quite enough action and I think that’s what I can sense from the discussion. Their disappointment of man, how can we get something to change?”

It probably starts with actions like the Bucks took. Rivers and LeBron James had passionately described the emotions the NBA community felt after seeing the video of Blake’s shooting.

But it’s going to take more than players sitting out NBA games.

“It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values,” former President Barack Obama tweeted, commending the NBA and WNBA players while posting a link to Rivers’ comments from earlier this week.

DON'T MISS

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

DON'T MISS

Top Russian Military Officials Are Being Arrested. Why Is It Happening?

DON'T MISS

Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

DON'T MISS

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

DON'T MISS

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

DON'T MISS

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

DON'T MISS

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

DON'T MISS

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

DON'T MISS

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

DON'T MISS

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

UP NEXT

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

UP NEXT

Get Ready for the Indy 500 With This Look at Parnelli Jones, JC Agajanian & the Willard Battery Special

UP NEXT

Fresno State Opens 2024 Mountain West Championship With Loss to Air Force

UP NEXT

Giants Rally From a Big Deficit Again and Spoil a Solid Start by Paul Skenes in 7-6 Win Over Pirates

UP NEXT

Cavaliers Fire Coach J.B. Bickerstaff Despite Making Second Round of Playoffs

UP NEXT

49ers Assistant Brandon Staley Looks for a Coaching ‘Reset’ After Firing by Chargers

UP NEXT

Jewell Loyd Scores 32 Before Sellout of 18,343, Seattle Edges Caitlin Clark and Fever

UP NEXT

After a Collapse the Game Before, Giants Turn Tables on Pirates

UP NEXT

Walker & Marte Hit HRs, D-backs Notch 1st Series Win at Dodger Stadium Since 2018

UP NEXT

Fresno State Faculty: Stop Diverting Money from Academics to Athletics

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

1 day ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

1 day ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

1 day ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

2 days ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

2 days ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

2 days ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

2 days ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

2 days ago

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

2 days ago

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

2 days ago

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

What’s the cost of democracy in California? Sameea Kamal CalMatters If we calculate that based just on the pages informing the state’s 22...

7 hours ago

7 hours ago

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

7 hours ago

Top Russian Military Officials Are Being Arrested. Why Is It Happening?

7 hours ago

Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

1 day ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

1 day ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

1 day ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

2 days ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

2 days ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend