The Milwaukee Bucks delivered a statement on the Game 5 boycott. The OKC Thunder and four other teams also boycotted their games.
The Milwaukee Bucks spent hours behind closed doors sending word to the Orlando Magic who were on the court they would be boycotting their 4:00 p.m. EST game in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting. The OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets as well as the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers followed suit also boycotting their games scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th.
When the Bucks emerged from the locker room they did so in unison with George Hill and Sterling Brown were the two players who read a statement from the team. Hill first thanked everyone for waiting while the Bucks tried to process their thoughts so they weren’t reacting emotionally and could compose themselves and prepare a statement.
The fact Sterling Brown was one of the speakers carries extra merit since he is suing the city of Milwaukee for an incident when he got swarmed and tased by eight officers for a parking violation late at night in a drug store parking lot.
One of the arresting officers was fired for racist and derogatory social media messaging as per CNN about the Brown tasing. The fact it took eight officers to deal with Brown situation speaks to why so many are outraged by how Black people are treated differently and why social and racial reform is necessary.
S.I.com Michael McCann offers more information on the Brown lawsuit. The city offered $400,000.00 but Brown declined the offer preferring to take the case to court
“Brown claims that he was “unlawfully stopped, subject to racist language, beaten and then subsequently tasered in a parking lot.”
The case has sparked controversy over how it was handled since evidence was purposely destroyed and the fact Brown was beaten with eight officers on-site for a parking violation.
Pulling from the Bucks statement:
When we take to the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort, and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.
The players also called for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene in order to ensure action is taken with regard to police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform. They want the law officers involved in the Jacob Blake shooting to be held responsible.
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In addition, they make sure to advise residents of the community to become educated and caution them to be peaceful in their actions since several residents were injured in the protests following Blake’s shooting. And finally, they encourage everyone to vote on November 3rd.
As noted in our previous post on the boycott of tonight’s action this situation was already percolating as the Toronto Raptors were the first to state they were considering boycotting the first game of their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals game against the Boston Celtics.
That led to a meeting between those clubs on Tuesday evening with no definitive result and a decision to see what happened today and then meet again this evening.
Following the boycotted games for Wednesday the players elected to meet this evening with every player in the bubble extended an invitation.
For now, Game 5 between the OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets is being listed as postponed but the players meeting tonight will no doubt offer further clarification.