The Milwaukee Bucks did not take the court for Game 5 of their opening round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, and staged a walkout of the game in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
The move, a truly monumental moment in NBA history, sent shockwaves through the sports world.
LeBron James, others react on Twitter
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sent out a powerful message on Twitter shortly after the walkout.
Warning, his tweet contains language that is NSFW.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
The statement is one of several he’s made in recent days on the incident. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha — which sits just 40 miles south of Milwaukee — as he tried to get into his vehicle on Sunday. Horrific video of the incident was posted to social media and quickly drew widespread condemnation. An attorney for the Blake family said that three of his children were in the car at the time.
“People get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America,” James said after their win against Portland on Sunday, part of a powerful statement he delivered. “Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”
Barack Obama praises walkouts
Former President Barack Obama tweeted out his support for the Bucks and other NBA players who walked out on Wednesday afternoon, too.
Obama tweeted out a video of Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers’s emotional interview out about the shooting and being Black in the United States.
I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2020
Players join James on Twitter
James wasn’t alone in speaking out in the wake of the walkout news, either. Players from across the basketball world were right there with him.
Gotta demand it 💪🏽
— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) August 26, 2020
WE WANT CHANGE!!
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) August 26, 2020
We have the strongest, most unified league in the world!!! #change
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 26, 2020
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) August 26, 2020
The Bucks’ senior vice president Alex Lasry, who is the son of one of the owners of the organization, supported the move, too.
Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change
— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) August 26, 2020
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder opted to sit out of their playoff game later on Wednesday afternoon, too, as did the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. The NBA then announced that all three games scheduled for Wednesday had been postponed and will be rescheduled.
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