Trail Blazers

NBA boycott: Impassioned voices, outrage being heard louder than ever

Trail Blazers

The recent shooting of Jacob Blake has sparked fresh outrage among the NBA community. 

After the Milwaukee Bucks motioned to boycott Wednesday's Game 5 vs. the Orlando Magic, a trickle-down-effect has impacted subsequent games including the Rockets-Thunder and Trail Blazers-Lakers. 

As of Wednesday, the NBA announced each Game 5 series will be rescheduled following the players' decisions to boycott games in response to the continued and unjustified killings of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement. 

[RELATED: NBA players weigh-in after Bucks boycott game in wake of Jacob Blake shooting]

The protests came just days after Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot several times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin. People have questioned the police’s use of force after Blake, who was allegedly walking away slowly from police officers and attempting to get in the car, was shot seven times in the back while his three children watched from inside the car. 

Blake's attorney, Ben Crump, said his client is paralyzed and it would "take a miracle" for him to walk again.

What happened to Blake is just one of the many unfortunate shootings in the Black community at the hands of police. 

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers fought back emotions on Tuesday when discussing what it’s like to be a Black man in America and explained what it’s like to be constantly reminded of his color because of the shootings like the one involving Blake.

 

"All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear," Rivers said of the Republican National Convention as he took his protective mask off to make sure he was heard clearly over the video conference. "We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones that we're denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung. We've been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear."

He continued, "It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back," Rivers said. 

It's really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I'm so often reminded of my color. It's just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better.

Doc Rivers

Rivers also wants law enforcement to be held accountable.

"The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We're not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else."

The 58-year-old coach isn’t the only one inside the NBA bubble expressing frustration for yet another incident involving law enforcement killing an unarmed Black person.

LeBron James and CJ McCollum also spoke out on Blake’s shooting following Game 4 of the Trail Blazers-Lakers first-round series on Monday. 

"At the end of the day, life is much bigger than the game of basketball," McCollum said. "I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Jacob Blake today. Our prayers up to his family and just some of the things that we’ve been going through as minorities in America – it has to stop."

James added, “Having the emotions of what’s going on of what happened outside of Milwaukee to… Jacob Blake. It’s what we’ve been talking about and it’s what we’re going to continue to talk about. Having two boys of my own and me being African American in America and to see what continues to happen with the police brutality towards my kind, continue to see what goes on with just the in-just -- it’s very troubling.”

Among those sounding off on the Blake shooting was political commentator Tomi Lahren, who questioned Blake for resisting arrest. 

Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little was disturbed by Lahren’s comments, especially after mass protests against police brutality and racial equity have dominated the nation for the past two months following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Little fired back with this response. 

In a follow-up post on Wednesday, Little clarified why the statement “black lives matter,” is so important, and why it's written on the back of his Trail Blazers jersey. 

 

[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Tristan Thompson]: