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Montevideo, November 27th 2021 - 20:22 UTC

 

 

Athletes across the US are boycotting matches over the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin

Thursday, August 27th 2020 - 08:40 UTC
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The National Basketball Association has postponed three matches after players from the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic The National Basketball Association has postponed three matches after players from the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic

Athletes across the United States are boycotting matches over the police shooting of Jacob Blake - four years to the day since NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit during the national anthem, igniting a wider protest movement in sport against racial injustice.

The National Basketball Association has postponed three matches after players from the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake.

The Bucks' move triggered similar player protests against racial injustice in other sports across the United States on Wednesday.

The action by the Wisconsin-based Bucks follows deadly nights of protests in the city of Kenosha, also in Wisconsin, after Mr Blake, 29, was shot by officers several times in the back while his children watched.

In addition to Wednesday's Bucks-Magic game, the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers-Portland Trail Blazers matches were also postponed and will be rescheduled, the NBA said.

After failing to show on the court, Bucks players held an impromptu media conference, with players wearing t-shirts adorned with 'Black Lives Matter' and other anti-racism slogans.

“Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So our focus today cannot be on basketball,” player Sterling Brown said.

The players called on the Wisconsin state legislature to reconvene to pass meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform.

“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from lawmakers and law enforcement,” Bucks player George Hill said.

After delivering their statement, the playing group left the press conference, choosing not to answer reporters’ questions.

The Magic, who trail the Bucks 3-1 in their best-of-seven playoffs series, left the court when it was clear their opponents were not going to play.

Beyonce's song “Freedom” rang out in the empty arena in Orlando as the clock counting down to the start of the game ran out.

The boycott is only the second in the NBA’s history, following a 1961 match where Boston Celtic players sat out in protest of segregation.

It comes four years to the day since NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit during the national anthem in a pre-season game, igniting a wider protest movement in sport against racial injustice.

Other players across the NBA responded to the boycott with message of support

Media outlets reported players from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets had also chosen to boycott their games.

Protests against racial injustice and police brutality have been visibly present since the NBA restarted its season last month in a bio-secure bubble in Orlando.

The courts have 'Black Lives Matter' painted on them and many players are wearing jerseys with social justice slogans on them.

But the Bucks' boycott is by far the most dramatic move by a team to date.

“Throughout the season restart, our players have been unwavering in their demands for systemic justice,” Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts said.

“The players have, once again, made it clear – they will not be silent on this issue.”

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is African American, expressed his own despair in a powerful statement earlier in the day.

“We’re the ones getting killed, we’re the ones getting shot,” he told reporters.“It’s amazing, why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back.”

Categories: Politics, United States.

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