LeBron And NBA Stars Voiced Their Support Of The Bucks Boycott In Protest Of Police Shooting Jacob Blake

Since video of police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times emerged on Monday night, NBA players have spoken out, not just in continued calls for justice but in questioning whether they need to do more and go further with their actions after the latest shooting of an unarmed Black man.

George Hill of the Bucks wondered aloud if it was a mistake coming to the Bubble and playing basketball, allowing for a distraction from the continued focus on police violence against Black Americans. The Raptors and Celtics had a number of players speak on that same issue as well, floating the possibility of a boycott as their second round series is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

Then, on Wednesday, the Bucks made a major statement when they refused to emerge from their locker room for Game 5 of their first round series with the Magic, boycotting the game in protest. What that led to was a surreal scene, in which the Magic walked off the floor just before the horn sounded for warmups to end, and by the time tipoff was set to begin, it was only the four referees standing by the scorers table in an otherwise empty arena.

NBA TV handled it all tremendously, with Sam Mitchell and Jim Jackson in particular speaking powerfully about what this moment means and applauding the Bucks for taking this stand. On Twitter, NBA stars also voiced their support for what the Bucks did, and the Rockets and Thunder followed suit in choosing to boycott their Game 5 later in the day — the Lakers and Blazers are reportedly leaning towards doing the same.

LeBron James didn’t mince words with where his frustration level is with the state of police brutality and racism in American, and Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell, who have starred in a tremendous on-court duel in the Nuggets-Jazz series, echoing each other and standing together in support of justice.

Former Buck John Henson, who had the police called on him in an incident of racial profiling while he was at a jewelry store during his tenure in Milwaukee, was proud to see what his former team was doing, as were so many others in the league.

Bucks senior VP Alex Lasry also issued a statement supporting the team’s decision.

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