Reigning MVP Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo received some great news on Monday from Bucks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer. Giannis was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in a proverbial avalanche amongst the voters.
The news didn’t carry merit for very long. Before their Game 5 matchup against the Magic on Wednesday night, Mr. Antetokounmpo and the rest of his Milwaukee teammate’s refused to take the floor.
In the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, WI, the Bucks decided that boycotting the contest was their only answer. An answer to racial injustice, and a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement across America and throughout the world.
Thank you very much, Mr. Brown and Mr. Hill, for illuminating a bright light correlated to the situation at hand.
Brown and Hill stated:
The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities . Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.
Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.
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. 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. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on November 3.
I stand with the Bucks in protest. Someone needed to do something, and NBA players responded accordingly. I tip my hat to you, my friends.
Milwaukee started the process, the Magic followed, and four additional teams rang the bell by sitting-out last night’s contests. The Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers boycotted with the postponement of their Wednesday night affair — the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets backed them up.
Today, the Denver Nuggets-Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers-Dallas Mavericks, and Boston Celtics-Toronto Raptors swept their match-ups under the rug for another day — the Celtics and Raptors were set to tip Game 1 of their second-round playoff series. Due to the boycotting over the last two days, I’d say that the NBA has effectively achieved their goal.
Former President Barack Obama chimed-in with a Twitter shout out to the NBA and WNBA. Additionally, MLB, MLS, and now the NFL have taken action. Several NFL franchises have given players a day-off from practice to address their feelings about Mr. Blake’s shooting and racial injustice in their own way. The standout was Doc Rivers’ remarks to the press after a crucial win against the Mavericks.
Part of me would’ve liked to see the teams remaining in the 2020 NBA playoffs boycott the rest of the season, but I love basketball. I want to see more dynamic competition on the hardwood .
Wednesday’s boycotted games will now be played on Friday at times TBD, etc, moving forward. Essentially, the NBA postponed two-days of playoff hoops with a confirmed restart.
I’d say that’s a formidable step in the right direction.