The shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, WI has brought a new element to the conversation about racial injustice among NBA players and, according to ESPN, the Toronto Raptors have discussed boycotting their playoff game against the Celtics on Thursday to raise awareness.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet explained the potential move as an attempt to "actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility." He mentioned how players have continued to talk about racial issues and social justice in media interviews, yet this incident is a reminder more change needs to happen.
The Raptors mulling whether to play brings up what was a major point of emphasis by players going into the NBA's bubble in Orlando. Many players, most notably Kyrie Irving of the Nets, were concerned playing basketball would become a distraction from current events.
Now that discussion will be framed around another high profile act of violence by police on a Black man that was caught on video. This comes just months after George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, which sparked protests nationwide.
The Raptors are set to face the Celtics in Game 1 of the second round of their second round playoff series.