|Top athletes in the NBA, baseball and tennis protest police killing American newspapers and media in general highlighted protests and boycotts of some of the nation’s most popular sporting competitions by leading players in protest at the shooting of Jacob Blake, another black man, by police. In an article written By Jill Martin, Leah Asmelash and David Close, CNN, they report that athletes took a stand for Black Lives Matter on Wednesday night by holding an unprecedented ‘wildcat strike’ and refusing to play their regularly scheduled games Wednesday. The decision started with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and stemmed from the Police killing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. The stand quickly spread across a number of sports and even into the broadcast booth, where TNT’s “Inside the NBA” analyst Kenny Smith took off his mic and walked off stage.|
According to the CNN story, The Milwaukee Bucks started a trend Wednesday when they decided not to play their NBA playoff game.
The Milwaukee Bucks did not emerge from their locker room before the scheduled tip at 4 p.m. as they decided to refuse to play their playoff game.
Soon after, the NBA announced it would postpone Game 5 of three different playoff series — the Bucks vs Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers.
The postponed games have not yet been rescheduled, and the entire NBA playoffs now hang in the balance.
Strikes are banned under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, which means the Bucks players broke their own contract in order to protest racial injustice and police violence.
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Bucks players said they are “calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the Officers be held accountable.”
Three Major League Baseball (MLB) games were postponed: Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners vs San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants.
“Given the pain in the communities of Wisconsin and beyond following the shooting of Jacob Blake, we respect the decisions of a number of players not to play tonight,” a league statement says. “Major League Baseball remains united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice.
According to BBC sports, Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of a WTA match on Thursday.
She tweeted that she would no longer play her semi-final in the Western and Southern Open in New York, saying that “as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis”.
The US Tennis Association, ATP and WTA subsequently announced it was pausing play at the Western and Southern Open on Thursday and would resume on Friday, adding that “tennis is collectively taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice”. It is unclear whether the Japanese former world number one will now play her match against Belgian 14th seed Elise Mertens on Friday.