Yet another unarmed Black man was shot multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the weekend, prompting outrage among the citizens who’ve been protesting just this type of targeting of minorities by law enforcement. Numerous NBA players have spoken out about the incident in recent days, expressing their devastation and frustration about the ongoing systemic mistreatment and oppression of Black people in America.
There was even some chatter earlier in the week that players were considering boycotting some of the upcoming playoff games this week, a scenario that quickly came to fruition on Wednesday as teams made a unified decision to sit out their scheduled playoff games. The WNBA also decided to sit out their games.
George Hill was one of the first to suggest this as a possibility in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, questioning his own decision to participate in the restart amid the nationwide protests, so it was only fitting that he and the Bucks led the charge on Wednesday when they were the first announce that they were refusing to play Game 5 against the Orlando Magic.
Later in the evening, Hill and Sterling Brown read a team statement explaining their decision and using the opportunity to once again demand justice for Jacob Blake, whose parents say he has been left paralyzed by the shooting, and the subsequent shooting of protesters.
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
Here is the full text of their statement.
Full statement from Milwaukee Bucks players who led NBA boycott tonight. pic.twitter.com/AOmHxwUTa7
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 26, 2020
The Bucks owners also came out in support of the players’ decision.
A statement from the Milwaukee Bucks owners: “We fully support our players and the decision they made…” pic.twitter.com/k4Mg63A1N9
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 26, 2020
There’s been no official word about Thursday’s playoff games yet, but we’ll continue to update the situation throughout the night as it develops.