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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

What you should know: Professional teams boycott against racial injustice


Which professional teams and leagues boycotted their games?

On Aug. 26, players across six NBA teams decided not to play in a slate of postseason games as a statement in the fight for  racial justice. 

A number of other leagues also followed the NBA’s lead. The MLB, MLS and WNBA all canceled scheduled contests. Players felt it was best not to take the court, field or diamond in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives agenda. 

Why did the boycott begin?

What sparked the protests among professional sports was the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times by police on Aug. 23. The shooting occured in Kenosha, Wisconsin, only about 30 miles from the city of Milwaukee, home to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks elected not to take the floor for game five of their first round playoff series with the Orlando Magic, who later joined the Bucks in solidarity. 

Many NBA as well as WNBA players alike protested in response to the injustice as well. Several players spoke at rallies or donated to organizations promoting racial justice. In particular, WNBA players wore white shirts that read “Jacob Blake” and marked with seven red dots on their backs, to signify the seven bullets that police shot at Blake.

Will leagues continue to postpone their games?

The NBA agreed to return to action on Aug. 29 after long meetings and discussions between players. The WNBA made their return to the court on Aug. 28. Players continue to plead for change, citing the need for team owners to do more in creating social change.

Chris Paul, a guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, stated in a press conference that for him, it’s all about setting a standard throughout the league. 

“For the young guys in our league to get a chance to see how guys are really coming together and speak and see real change, real action, because guys are tired, and I mean tired,” Paul said. “When I say tired, we’re not physically tired, we’re just tired of seeing the same thing over and over again.”

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