August 26, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks Boycott Game 5 of Playoff Series: The Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court Wednesday for the 4 p.m. playoff game against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. "We're tired of the killings and the injustice," Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeated.

posted by rcade to basketball at 04:36 PM - 23 comments

The Magic have refused the forfeit, and the NBA has canceled all of the games for tonight.

It is suspected that all of the games tomorrow will also be canceled, as the Raptors/Celtics were hinting at striking (since boycott means not buying, and what they are doing is striking) as early as yesterday.

posted by grum@work at 05:53 PM on August 26, 2020

The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds game will not be played tonight.

posted by tommybiden at 06:14 PM on August 26, 2020

The NBA's in uncharted territory here. Unless this is accepted as a one-game-only situation, how do the players say they've seen enough to justify returning to play?

posted by rcade at 06:41 PM on August 26, 2020

I will hand it to the players for taking it upon themselves to answer complaints against the violent protests with a meaningful peaceful rebuttal. This protest, now tacitly backed by the league with the cancellation, actually has a chance to move the needle.

I understand the Mariners and Padres also look like they won't be playing.

posted by bender at 06:49 PM on August 26, 2020

This is incredible and unprecedented, and pretty damn awesome.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:29 PM on August 26, 2020

Chris Webber's take reminds everyone it was 4 years ago today when Colin Kaepernick first knelt during an anthem.

posted by grum@work at 07:55 PM on August 26, 2020

Raptors VanVleet, Powell speak out against Blake shooting, consider boycotting games

posted by tommybiden at 09:05 PM on August 26, 2020

The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season. Most other teams voted to continue. LeBron James has exited the meeting.

I have no idea where this is going to end up, but this is historic.

posted by grum@work at 12:30 AM on August 27, 2020

4 of 5 MLS matches tonight were also struck, despite Don Garber putting out yet another wishy washy statement.

Good on all the players and those who stood with them.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:32 AM on August 27, 2020

Doesn't look good that my Orlando City SC played.

posted by rcade at 01:08 AM on August 27, 2020

It does not, rcade. Although I wonder how much time they had to react to what happened at the NBA bubble in Orlando.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:15 AM on August 27, 2020

Good on all the players and those who stood with them

Absolutely. The unified approach is powerful and prevents a recurrence of the huge target Kaepernick became to the "old guard" by providing singular leadership.

Government could do a whole lot to address the situation properly. The current one won't and the situation is getting worse every day.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2020

Finally there is a chance that the correct message will be delivered in a way that will not be misunderstood nor drowned out by the noise and furor surrounding it.

Here is what I'm trying to say. Let's start with Colin Kaepernick. His message was one of frustration and anger at the continuing racism in the United States. It is a message that needed to be heard, but Kaepernick chose the wrong time to deliver it. By kneeling for the national anthem, far too many people, myself included, heard a message of hatred for the United States. This is not what he meant, and it was not what we wanted nor needed to hear.

Fast forward to the murder of George Floyd. Initially the demonstrations were peaceful, but soon they turned into needless violence. Once again a message that needed to be clearly delivered became lost in the nightly news of rioting, looting, and violence. Once again we hear hatred instead of the voices asking to be heard.

Now we come to James Blake. Many will look at his record and the circumstances of the arrest and say it was deserved, but 7 rounds in the back are not justified under any circumstances. I can understand what might have been going on in the mind of the officer, fear, adrenaline rush, hasty judgment, and perhaps there is enough there for the officer to avoid prosecution, but it's not enough for him to avoid serious administrative action. So much for that. The important thing is that a number of people with very loud voices and very prominent platforms are now speaking, not with slogans on jerseys, but with firm and resolute action. I began to fully understand the message about the time the NBA went into the bubble. I'm slow, but at least I will listen and eventually learn.

So what should professional athletes in the US do? First, I would suggest that the NBA and its players take the lead, and whatever is done there be followed as closely as possible by the rest. Should this be a one or two game work stoppage, or should the players walk out and end the season? I would like to have them get back to work, but if they don't, I can go along with it. I strongly agree with the message that Jaylen Brown of the Celtics delivered. In essence he said that if the players are to leave the bubble just to go home and chill with their friends, then they are wasting the opportunity. He says that if they leave the bubble, they need to be out on the streets demonstrating. Perhaps with the leadership of men whom most of us respect, and with the message being delivered in a clear manner without the outside noise, more of us will begin to understand and act accordingly.

I end with one caution. It will take time. Much of what has happened is the result of impatience, but real change is slow. Change cannot be dictated by the government, but government at all levels can make sure that laws are equally applied and understood. The optimistic view is that once real change begins, it will accelerate. We can do no more than to change ourselves where necessary, and pray that others will follow.

posted by Howard_T at 02:10 PM on August 27, 2020

Well said Howard.

I agree real change takes time, but rather than impatience what I believe the single biggest issue in turning peaceful protests into full fledged rioting is the government's brutal response and lack of leadership. A simple acknowledgement by the government that a problem exists would do wonders but for whatever reason this appears currently to be an unacceptable approach.

What ever happened to United?

Real change requires buy-in from everyone. Leaders included.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:02 PM on August 27, 2020

Police unions are openly siding with the president (e.g. the NYPD endorsed him and that's the first time they've ever endorsed a candidate) and fighting against local governments trying to regulate them. This is not going to change without radical and dramatic actions that make it obvious just who is creating lawlessness and violence... the people supposedly responsible for enforcing the law.

Please read the news with caution as the media is more inclined to reinforce a message of looting and "riots" over a message of protest and how traumatic and unacceptable police behavior has been in this country. The murders are only the tip of an iceberg of brutality exhibited towards black and latinx communities. It's not like they'll stop with those communities if the Republicans take the election.

posted by kokaku at 07:03 PM on August 27, 2020

Too much finger pointing and shirking of responsibility going on everywhere.

Being a cop isn't a picnic. Very few of us could survive that gig for even a short period of time. All this "defunding" discussion makes no sense and is disconnected from the real issue here.

Yes, there are some bad cops out there, just as there are bad actors in most disciplines. It takes real leadership to set decent examples for people to follow.

If a 17 year old kid thinking he is doing what is right by shooting protesters isn't proof I don't know what is. Protesters feeling their burning and looting are justified are also not helping any cause.

And what response did we get today? A "senior government official" spoke about reaching out to LeBron to see what LeBron can do to help "restore proper societal order". Pathetic.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:50 PM on August 27, 2020

I don't know whether I should feel a bit better because the US is not alone in racism, or worse because racism is more extensive than just the US. Since I have numerous cousins in Nova Scotia, especially in the Digby and Islands area, I follow a site on Facebook that is a sort of local gossip, q and a, news, and gripes for Digby. Yesterday there was a post complaining about two cars being vandalized. Both of the vehicles had bumper stickers or a license plate that displayed affinity for the Mi' kmaq first nation tribe. Two other cars in the same parking lot were undamaged, and neither of them had any such bumper stickers. The evidence points toward a hate crime and racism. Today the news was posted that the RCMP was investigating the incident as just that. Ignorance is without borders.

posted by Howard_T at 11:55 PM on August 27, 2020

And as always, ignorance exists without regard to career accomplishments.

August 27 was Disavowal Thursday. Preceded by other such instances and surely to be followed by yet others in turn.

1) Notre Dame distanced itself from comments made by Lou Holtz. Heck, maybe it's time to take the Holtz statue down.

2) The Bears distanced themselves from comments made by Brian Urlacher.

It's too late for anyone to distance themselves from the likes of Ditka. He's been toxic all along. He's just getting more delirious with age.

posted by beaverboard at 01:33 AM on August 28, 2020

Real change requires buy-in from everyone. Leaders included.

This is part of why I had some hope as a result of these protests by athletes. America is obsessed with sports. A protest like this--not just individual athletes like with the kneeling during the national anthem but entire teams or even leagues would certainly get attention and force a conversation.

Of course, if they only take off a game or two and then get back to playing, it will be forgotten, and people will move on. If they are able to carry it on until some demands are met, then they could achieve something. Of course, what those demands are is the tricky part. The solutions here are not easy or quick to achieve, and results will be even slower to measure. And of course, the athletes are not necessarily the ones who should be negotiating them--though more than a few athletes have exhibited that they are well qualified to be part of that process. I'm thinking something like agreements by cities/governments to meet with community and advocacy organizations to determine and implement policy changes. Not single meetings but some schedule or framework--something that can be viewed as a commitment to reform.

posted by bender at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2020

What boggles my mind, or rather one of the things, is that Beaverboard's three examples are all people who spent their careers working closely with men of color. People who, no matter their upbringing, should be smart enough to learn from this proximity, given their respective accomplishments (okay, Urlacher maybe less so). And yet... It's heartbreaking.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:27 AM on August 28, 2020

Ditka traded his entire 99 draft for the chance to select Ricky Williams.*

If you go all in and put your job on the line based on your strong belief in someone of color (at a position - RB - with a notoriously short career span) and then make it evident through remarks and statements in later years that you undervalue them as a person, then you must see them mainly as an expendable asset or a commodity.

*In New Orleans as it were, former principal marketplace of the US slave trade.

posted by beaverboard at 01:48 PM on August 28, 2020

Too much finger pointing and shirking of responsibility going on everywhere.

Please don't both sides this.

A small subset of one side is damaging property to protest murder because very little else has gotten people's attention over centuries of this kind of violent behavior.

A large portion of the other side is okay with murder or physical violence to stop property damage.

Can you see that they're not the same? Not in balance?

posted by kokaku at 05:54 AM on August 29, 2020

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