Kneeling wasn’t enough. So NBA players walked off the court.
The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday to protest police violence after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The teams were set to play Game 5 of the first round of the NBA playoffs. Soon after the Magic players left the court, the NBA announced the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers, and Los Angeles Lakers would not play their Wednesday games as well. The Magic later released a statement in support of the boycott.
For Bucks forward Sterling Brown, it’s personal. Two years ago, after coming out of a Walgreens, Milwaukee police officers stepped on his ankle and tased him over a bad parking job. One of the officers on the scene later joked about it on Facebook.
After video of the arrest was released, he refused to settle with the city.
“I want more than just money,” he wrote last month in The Players’ Tribune. “I want cops to show respect and to be held accountable when they step out of line, especially in the neighborhoods they are supposed to serve and protect every day.”
Bucks and Magic players did not comment on the protest. Alex Lasry, SVP of the Bucks, tweeted in support of the team’s players.
Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change
— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) August 26, 2020
Current and former NBA players, including LeBron James, shared their frustration and support on Twitter.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
This shit bigger than basketball! Whoever don’t understand that is part of the problem.
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) August 26, 2020
I swear its not that hard to understand that WE as human beings just want to be treated equal … and if u don’t understand that then im sorry for your ignorance …
— Mikal Bridges (@mikal_bridges) August 26, 2020
We Demand Change. We so sick of this!!!
— Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33) August 26, 2020
The walk-off came a day after Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers shared an emotional message about police violence with the press. The NBA said the Wednesday games would be rescheduled.