The NBA has officially postponed Thursday night’s scheduled playoff games, again in response to last Sunday’s shooting in Jacob Blake.
“We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday,” NBA Executive Vice President Mike Bass tweeted, in part.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in front of Blake’s family, including his three children. At last word, he was paralyzed from the waist down.
The shooting prompted the Milwaukee Bucks to first take a united stand in calling off their playoff game on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. Other NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS teams quickly joined the action in solidarity.
On Thursday, The Hockey Diversity Alliance formally requested the National Hockey League suspend all playoff games scheduled for today, according to San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane — in order to send a “clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”
Blake’s shooting, caught on bystander video, renewed the national outrage over police brutality and the mistreatment of African Americans that first exploded following the Memorial Day death of GeorgeFloyd while in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota police. The shooting also prompted social media solidarity and, in some cases, outrage.
“[Efff] this man!!” tweeted Lakers superstar LeBron James. “We demand change. Sick of it.”
Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade tweeted, “Proud of our players.” Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks echoed that sentiment: “Proud to be apart of this League… even more today ! WE WANT CHANGE.”
Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics: “We need change. Change can NOT wait.”
A’Ja Wilson of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces tweeted “Gotta demand it,” referring to change.
San Antonio Spurs player Demar DeRozan declared, “This [is] bigger than basketball! Whoever don’t understand that is part of the problem.” His teammate, LaMarcus Alridge, saluted the players with a fist emoji, as a sign of “Respect.”
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tweeted, “What’s going on in this country of ours at times is extremely disgusting, and until we find a fix, I think more than ever, we have to unify and become one as much as possible.”
By Rachel George
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