The NBA’s players led a strike on Wednesday afternoon. The Milwaukee Bucks kicked things off, refusing to play their game against the Orlando Magic in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The remaining four teams in the league scheduled to play on Wednesday followed suit, and now, a meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. among players where they are expected to discuss next steps in the aftermath of this demonstration.
A pair of MLB teams, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, have joined in as of this writing. A pillar of the NBA on TNT crew decided to join in on the movement, as Kenny Smith explained how he was feeling, took off his microphone, and left the set for the evening.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
“For me, I think the biggest thing now is to kind of — as a black man, as a former player — I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight,” Smith said. “And figure out what happens after that.”
It was a powerful moment, and it is unclear if Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and those involved in producing the show were aware that this was coming.