This entire year has been nothing but eyeopening for some of the things that are allowed to happen to Black people without any consequences for those committing the terrible deeds. It seems as if things only continue to worsen the further into the future we go. First it was Breonna Taylor, then it was George Floyd, and now it’s Jacob Blake. Police continue to thoughtlessly shoot Black people, sometimes fatally. Luckily in the case of Blake, he is alive.
If you’re unaware of who Blake is, he is a Black man from Evanston who was shot in the back seven times by police officers in Kenosha, WI. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and according to The Grio, Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, says doctors have informed their family that they aren’t aware of if the paralysis will be permanent. Not only was Blake unarmed, but he wasn’t the reason the police were called, yet he helped to deescalate the situation. Many are sick of the senseless violence and hatred being displayed toward the Black community, especially by police who are supposed to be protecting us. The NBA decided that actions speak louder than words. Six of their teams who were scheduled to play games on August 26th didn’t go out and play.
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
The Milwaukee Bucks were the first to make a statement by not hitting the court. Their opponents, the Orlando Magic, followed suit and left the floor, too. An announcement of the game cancellation was posted on Twitter. Definitely a huge step and a very bold statement especially considering how media and sports are used as a way to distract citizens from the terrible things that are happening throughout the country. It didn’t just stop with the Bucks and Magic either. Two other NBA games scheduled were boycotted by the Lakers and Trail Blazers along with the Rockets and the Thunder. The NBA was forced to come forward with a statement which states, “The NBA and the NBPA today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Games of each series will be rescheduled,” according to the NBA Twitter.
In solidarity with our NBA family. pic.twitter.com/Z6PYDMbtYE
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) August 27, 2020
Elijah Clyne, a freshman at Columbia College Chicago, said, “People aren’t paying enough attention to this situation.” He went on to say, “I feel like this is a good way to show people that they’re aware of what’s happening and using their platform to show it.”
What better way to show that you want to stand for a cause than to put the thing that puts the bread on your table on pause? Millions of people will see this boycott and it may give them a different perspective to think about. “These problems will be brought to attention and I’m all for it. The league is run by players who are mistreated in the country they live in,” said Hugo Vazquez, a freshman at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Other major leagues such as the WNBA, MLB, and MLS have decided to sit a few games out as well. The WNBA even went as far as to wear t-shirts that had seven holes in the back to bring even more awareness to the mistreatment of Blake. Tennis champ Naomi Osaka also decided to skip out on playing to bring more awareness to the mistreatment of Black people by the police. In an Instagram post Osaka said, “…before I am an athlete I am a Black woman.” She added, “…Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach.”
I love that people with a great platform are going to great lengths to pay attention to issues that really matter. Hopefully they’re able to get the message across effectively.
By Cierra Lemott, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak