NBA players boycott playoff games after Jacob Blake shooting

George+Hill+during+the+Bucks%27+first+round+series+versus+the+Orlando+Magic+in+the+2020+NBA+Playoffs.

George Hill during the Bucks’ first round series versus the Orlando Magic in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Melvin Harris, theScore Lead Reporter

2020 has been a year of change. It has made us more aware of what is going on in the world. 

Athletes are using their platforms more than ever to point out issues in society.

NBA stars have been very vocal when it comes to social injustice in the United States, especially on social media.

The league has been making their voices heard with messages displayed on the NBA Bubble courts and on the back of some players’ jerseys. Phrases such as “Black Lives Matter”, “Say Their Names” and “Justice Now” are a few notable quotes seen during NBA broadcasting throughout the NBA restart.  

Lakers star LeBron James has always been outspoken about change and police brutality in this country. 

In 2014, James and teammates wore “I can’t breathe” shirts during their warm-ups following the death of Eric Garner. 

Fast forward to 2020, James along with others are still fighting for the same issue. 

If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman, or detain him, or before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here, you’re lying to not only me, you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community because we see it over and over and over,” James said in light of the Jacob Blake shooting.

Jacob Blake, 29, is a Black man who is currently paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times from point blank range by Kenosha Police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The video was caught on tape as Blake tried to get to his vehicle where his kids were at. Blake was unarmed when he was shot. 

The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 against their opponents, the Orlando Magic, due to the shooting. 

Bucks point guard George Hill, was one of the leaders behind boycotting the playoff game. Hill explained how he felt about the police brutality going on in the country. 

“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Hill said. 

Following the cancellation of the game, the NBA decided to postpone the rest of the games for that day and the games for the following day. The league has shown their support for the players in the past and this is nothing different. 

Players gathered in the bubble on Wednesday, Aug. 25 to discuss how the season should proceed. There was a poll taken among the athletes and the majority of them wanted the season to continue. However, the LA teams preferred the season be cancelled. 

Both LA teams have plenty of vocal leaders who are active on and off the court. Among them, Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers, who spoke passionately about the Jacob Blake shooting. 

It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” Rivers said. “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot.” 

Star players and coaches are taking a stand and using the power they possess to spotlight the real issues people face. 

The issues that plague this nation are bigger than basketball and while the players ultimately decided that playing would provide the biggest platform to spread the message of social injustice, the focus needs to be on the world issues that’s affecting minorities. 

The playoffs are likely to resume Saturday, Aug. 29 per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.