By Sammy Strobel
Assistant Sports Editor
On Aug. 26, basketball fans were looking forward to a playoff game between Milwaukee and Orlando, but the teams had other plans. These teams took a polarizing stand against systemic racism and police brutality by boycotting the games. By refusing to play, the athletes demonstrated how strong their desire for social justice really was, subsequently causing doubt about whether or not the rest of the playoff season would continue.
This act was sparked by a Toronto player in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29 year old man who was shot as he tried getting into his vehicle. This inspired other NBA, MLB and MLS players to do the same, and postponing a number of games throughout the leagues as a result.
Seattle Mariner second baseman Dee Gordon tweeted his thoughts about his team’s decision not to play. “Instead of watching us, we hope people will focus on the things more important than sports that are happening.”
As several more instances of racial injustice are witnessed, more and more athletes are expressing their anger and frustration with the US justice system. This includes athletes who want to suspend their season all together. Kyrie Irving questioned if “providing entertainment through basketball was actually diverting public attention away from the broader social justice movement.”
This walkout has no precedent in NBA history.
As of Aug. 29, the NBA playoffs have resumed accordingly.