When the Detroit Lions decided to cancel its Tuesday practice due to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI, there was a growing expectation that more demonstrations would soon follow.
With this in mind, all eyes were on professional sports teams in Wisconsin such as the Milwaukee Bucks to make a bold statement; one that would send shockwaves throughout the sports world.
And they have.
The NBA has canceled all of its playoff games scheduled for Wednesday. This decision came after the Bucks chose to boycott its Game 5 matchup against the Orlando Magic; protesting Blake’s unarmed shooting by the police in the team’s home state of Wisconsin. On August 23rd, Kenosha Police shot an unarmed Blake seven times in his back. This came after attempting to arrest him following a domestic dispute.
Following the Bucks’ decision to boycott, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder decided to boycott its matchup scheduled for tonight. Soon after, reports surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers began a discussion to boycott their game tonight. One can surmise this forced the NBA’s hand, resulting in all games’ cancellation on Wednesday.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, players in Orlando have called an emergency meeting scheduled for tonight. In that meeting, players will discuss the next steps of how players will move forward in finishing the season.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers tweeted his displeasure in protest with his fellow NBA players.
“**** THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Additionally, the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics reportedly have also held talks. Reports state they have discussed not playing each other Thursday in the wake of the protests. As a result, Raptors coach Nick Nurse has stated that players have even discussed going home altogether.
The boycotting of NBA games today does not come without coincidences either. Four years ago today, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his first protest for the very same cause. Before the San Francisco 49ers-Green Bay Packers preseason game, Kaepernick sat during the U.S. national anthem. His reasoning was to bring attention to the police brutality and the unarmed killing of black men by police officers. After speaking with former NFL player and retired Green Beret Nate Boyer, Kaepernick chose to kneel during the anthem. Boyer and Kaepernick came in an agreement that kneeling would be a more respectful gesture.
Tonight’s NBA players’ meeting is scheduled for 8 pm tonight, according to ESPN. At this time, there is a growing concern that the rest of the NBA season is in jeopardy. On the other hand, there is a segment of players who wish the season will continue. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported a sizeable amount of players want to finish out the sacrifices they have made to play in the bubble.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter @koryewoods