By: B. Zarzur
Jacob Blake has been another victim of police brutality in the USA and has shocked the world yet again with the police's capability of brutality. Besides the protests taking place, NBA athletes have decided to take a stand against racial injustice and refused to play on regularly scheduled games. Players from Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers have refused to take part in the playoffs as a form of protest against racial injustice.
Jacob Blake is a 29- year old African American male who was shot seven times in his children's watch from the backseat of his car; and seriously injured by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After being shot, Mr. Blake was taken to the hospital, and handcuffed to the hospital bed. Currently, he has been released from hospital handcuffs and is paralyzed after being shot seven times. According to BBC news, “it is still unclear whether Mr. Blake will be able walk again.”
The lakers have released several statements justifying why they have chosen to postpone Wednesday night’s games. Jeanie Buss, Lakers co-owner, stated, "I was excited to see us play — and hopefully close out our series — tonight. But I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough. #JusticeForJacobBlake #WeHearYou”. Furthermore the lakers affirmed, "Eighty percent of NBA players are black men. We cannot love them for the joy and entertainment that they bring to the world, yet sit in silence and fail to use our platforms and resources to amplify their voices when they demand the justice and equality that America has promised us all, but denied Black people for too long,"
After the postponement of games in the NBA other athletes have decided to take a stand for the racial injustice going on: Tennis player Naomi Osaka did not play on the western and southern semifinals, as a form of protest against racial injustice she stated, "Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach”.
These athletes have immense impact over the media; taking a racial stand is very powerful and should be done more often. Influential athletes such as Lebron James have raised awareness around the current situation of injustice among several others, leaving us wondering, how many more?