Early Wednesday (Aug. 26), the Milwaukee Bucks broke social media when they decided to boycott the playoff game they had tonight against the Orlando Magic in protest of Jacob Blake’s shooting, as well as the killings of Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin today by white militia member Kyle Rittenhouse.
Soon after this reveal was made, other NBA teams that were also scheduled to play tonight joined in solidarity by boycotting, as well. Athletes like LeBron James to Trae Young to Demarcus Cousins; as well as retired stars such as Dwyane Wade even went on Twitter to speak their piece about the decision. “FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James tweeted in frustration. Cousins added, “This shit bigger than basketball! Whoever don’t understand that is part of the problem,” while Wade admitted the he was, “Proud of our players!”
Not too long afterward; WNBA, MLB, and MLS teams joined in the boycotting of games, too. So, the Bucks’ brave decision served as a catalyst — and on the same day four years after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — began kneeling at games to protest police brutality. Talk about a full circle moment.
Since today’s events, the Bucks’ have issued a joint statement. “Over the last few days in our own state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha and the additional shooting of protesters,” started Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who was accompanied by the rest of his team and guard George Hill, who also later spoke. “Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”
Hill added: “When we take the court to represent Milwaukee, 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 demand the same from lawmakers and law enforcement.”
Hear the Milwaukee Bucks’ statement about their playoff game boycott below.