The recent shooting of Jacob Blake has sparked fresh outrage among the NBA community.
As of Wednesday, the NBA announced each Game 5 series will be rescheduled following the players' decisions to boycott games in response to the continued and unjustified killings of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement.
The NBA and NBPA have agreed to postpone today's three playoff games. pic.twitter.com/m0pDfX8OA1— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 26, 2020
The protests came just days after Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot several times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin. People have questioned the police's use of force after Blake, who was allegedly walking away slowly from police officers and attempting to get in the car, was shot seven times in the back while his three children watched from inside the car.
Blake's attorney, Ben Crump, said his client is paralyzed and it would "take a miracle" for him to walk again.
What happened to Blake is just one of the many unfortunate shootings in the Black community at the hands of police.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers fought back emotions on Tuesday when discussing what it's like to be a Black man in America and explained what it's like to be constantly reminded of his color because of the shootings like the one involving Blake.
"It's amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back."— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
Doc Rivers delivers an emotional message on the police shooting of Jacob Blake. pic.twitter.com/A0T26OfsDG
"All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear," Rivers said of the Republican National Convention as he took his protective mask off to make sure he was heard clearly over the video conference. "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. And all you do is keep hearing about fear."
He continued, "It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back," Rivers said.
"It's really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I'm so often reminded of my color. It's just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better." -- Doc Rivers
Rivers also wants law enforcement to be held accountable.
"The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We're not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else."
The 58-year-old coach isn't the only one inside the NBA bubble expressing frustration for yet another incident involving law enforcement killing an unarmed Black person.
LeBron James and CJ McCollum also spoke out on Blake's shooting following Game 4 of the Trail Blazers-Lakers first-round series on Monday.
At the end of the day, life is much bigger than the game of basketball. I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Jacob Blake today. Our prayers up to his family and just some of the things that we've been going through as minorities in America – it has to stop," McCollum said.
James added, "Having the emotions of what's going on of what happened outside of Milwaukee to… Jacob Blake. It's what we've been talking about and it's what we're going to continue to talk about. Having two boys of my own and me being African American in America and to see what continues to happen with the police brutality towards my kind, continue to see what goes on with just the in-just -- it's very troubling."
Among those sounding off on the Blake shooting was political commentator Tomi Lahren, who questioned Blake for resisting arrest.
Your skin color doesn't give you the right to resist arrest.— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) August 25, 2020
Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little was disturbed by Lahren's comments, especially after mass protests against police brutality and racial equity have dominated the nation for the past two months following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Little fired back with this response.
And this is your takeaway. After all this, this is the statement you choose to make. This is the overall conclusion that you can come to? Okay. https://t.co/LDbwgs6nWG— Nassir Little (@2ez_nassie) August 25, 2020
In a follow-up post on Wednesday, Little clarified why the statement "black lives matter," is so important, and why it's written on the back of his Trail Blazers jersey.
When I say black lives matter, I'm not referring to an organization, taking a political stance or following a trend. I'm telling whoever is capable of seeing or hearing the statement, that black lives matter. Simple.— Nassir Little (@2ez_nassie) August 26, 2020
Former players are speaking out as well. TNT's Chris Webber shared his emotions and powerful message as to why players are not taking the court during TNT's 30-minute special with the Inside the NBA.
We keep hearing vote. Everybody vote. But I'm here to speak for those that are always marginalized. Those that live in these neighborhoods where we preach and tell them to vote and then walk away. Charles Barkley came to my high school. Just seeing him in the locker room, seeing his hands and seeing his body, that inspired me. You can't see something - you can't be something til you see it. And when I tell you the little kids that have called me, upset - I have a godson with autism and I just had to explain to him why we aren't playing. I have young nephews that I've had to talk to about death before they've even seen it in a movie. -- Chris Webber
The five-time NBA All-Star and former Rookie of the year went onto discuss how the time is now:
If not now, when? If not during a pandemic and countless lives being lost. If not now, when? That's all I want to hear from the rest of the night when everybody's pontificating and thinking and soapboxing and all of that, we know nothing is going to change. We get it. If Martin Luther King got shot and risked his life, Medgar Evers, and we've seen this in all of our heroes constantly taken down. We understand it's not going to end, but that does not mean young men that you don't do anything. Don't listen to these people telling you don't do anything because it's not going to end right away. You are starting something for the next generation and the next generation to take over. Do you have to be smart? Yes. Do you have to make sure you have a plan? Yes. Do you have to be articulate about that plan? Yes. All of those things, but that's what you're going to do. They're professionals, they know how to be the best of themselves. So I applaud it. I applaud it because it's the young people, the young people leading the way. And I applaud them.
Every word Chris Webber says here should be listened to. pic.twitter.com/L2mKUqEHL1— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 26, 2020
While Los Angeles Lakers standout Robert Horry who played in the league for 16 seasons, spoke out during what was scheduled to be the Lakers Pregame Show on Spectrum Sportsnet.
Horry shared his reaction to hearing the news of Jacob Blake as he fought back tears talking about how he fears for his sons' lives.
"It's hard to tell your 14-year-old son that I worry about him when he walks out that door. I have a 21-year-old son -- I worry about him because black men are endangered species pretty much… These cops are just killing because they feel like if they don't have the body-cams on them, they have a right and I tell my kids all the time -- I say, I don't care what's going on because at the end of the day, I want you coming home to me."
[Listen to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Tristan Thompson]:
NBA boycott: Impassioned voices, outrage being heard louder than ever originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest