'Bigger than basketball': NBA players demand change as games grind to a halt | Inquirer Sports

‘Bigger than basketball’: NBA players demand change as games grind to a halt

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:35 PM August 27, 2020
Black lives matter

An empty court and bench are shown with no signage following the scheduled start time in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

MANILA, Philippines—Some things are bigger than basketball.

In an act of protest, six NBA teams decided not to play in their scheduled games in the first round of the playoffs Thursday (Manila time)  following the police shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


Players and coaches could not suppress their rage amid. Some took to Twitter to express their disgust and continued their demand for change and end to racial injustices in the US.

“F*** this man!!!! We demand change. Sick of it,” posted James on Twitter upon learning of Blake’s shooting.


“Spewing this fear, all you hear Donald Trump all of them talking about fear, we’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot, we’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities, we’ve been hung, we’ve been shot, and all you do is keep hearing about fear,” said Clippers head coach in a virtual press conference that former US President Barack Obama also tweeted.

You don’t need to be black to be outraged, you need to be American and outraged and how dare Republicans talk about fear, we’re the ones that need to be scared. We’re the ones having to talk every single, every black child, my white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over. It’s just ridiculous and it keeps going, there’s no charges, Breonna Taylor no charges. Nothing! All we’re asking is you live up to the Constitution, that’s all we’re asking for everybody for everyone,” added Rivers as he held back tears.

Obama, the United States’ first black president, praised the Bucks for their pioneering decision to boycott their playoff games.

“It’s going to take all our constitutions to stand up for our values,” tweeted Obama.

Bill Russell, who won 11 titles with the Boston Celtics and one of the NBA’s earliest civil rights leaders, thanked two-time champion and now analyst Kenny Smith for showing support for the players and walking out of the set of Inside the NBA.

The NBA teams also stood by their players’ decision not to step on the court.

Other US leagues in WNBA, MLB, and MLS also postponed its games as players across the sports led the decision not to play.

According to reports, both the Lakers and Clippers voted to end the season early and that four-time MVP LeBron James called for action from team owners toward social justice reform and left the meeting early.

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TAGS: Jacob Blake, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, Sports
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