Photo: Cole Burston/Getty Images
  /  08.25.2020

The Toronto Raptors should be in celebration mode after a first round sweep in the playoff games against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Instead, they’re considering boycotting upcoming games in response to the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake.

The news made its way around Twitter on Tuesday (Aug. 25) afternoon after a conversation with players Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet.

“Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet have both said that there have been conversations about boycotting. There is frustration that messages aren’t getting across,” Canadian sportscaster Kayla Grey tweeted.

VanVleet later explained his disappointment following the shooting.

“I’m in a different place today, emotionally speaking. It’s starting to feel like everything we’re doing is just going through the motions, nothing’s changing,” VanVleet said during a press call. “What are we willing to give up? Do we actually give a fuck about what’s going on?”

Fellow Raptors player Powell also shared his frustrations after learning Blake’s story.

“I’m frustrated, honestly,” he said. “I’m disappointed. I have a wide range of emotions. I’m pretty tired and sick to my stomach to have to sit up here and talk about this again.

“The police officers that are involved in these instances aren’t scared… the taxpayers are paying for these administrative leaves,” the Raptors star went on “Ain’t nothing gonna change (until we) stand up and demand things. Until that is done, ain’t sh** gonna change.”

Shortly after George Floyd was killed, Kyrie Irving argued against the return of basketball because he felt it would be a distraction to the racial inequality experienced by the Black community.

Roughly three months later, the Raptors players are expressing similar sentiments and they have Grey’s support.

“Let’s get clear on this: Players never had this idea that messages on their jersey or taking a knee during anthems was the ONLY fix to what’s going on right now,” she tweeted in support of the NBA team’s potential form of protest.

Blake’s attempt to break up a fight between two women on Sunday night resulted in him being shot in the back at least seven times by Kenosha officers. He is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.

Look at the thread below for Powell and VanVleet’s full statements.


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