01 September 2020 - NBA playoffs resume after boycott over Jacob Blake shooting
NBA players took real political action over Jacob Blake. Will others follow?
Bhaskar Sunkara (The Guardian, 27/08/2020)
This week, it’s easy to see two possible futures for America. Our darker path is on display at a Republican national convention reaching new levels of xenophobia and paranoia. Every night, millions of viewers are hearing about enemies, “human sex drug traffickers”, even, being just barely held back by the steady leadership of Donald Trump.
And then there’s basketball. Not just an incredible week of playoff comebacks and buzzer beaters, but real political action. Players from the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic went on a wildcat strike of sorts on Wednesday and decided not to play game five of their playoff series. They were protesting against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old black man shot seven times by police in the back this Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
'It's Absurd': Trump Officials Brush Off NBA Player Strikes Over Police Shooting
Sam Gringlas (NPR, 27/08/2020)
Top White House officials are brushing off the significance of NBA protests this week over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
President Trump also weighed in, lamenting Thursday that the NBA has become "like a political organization," but saying he didn't know much about the protests.
"I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests," Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
NBA Players Put America on Notice
Jemele Hill (The Atlantic, 27/08/2020)
Back in June, before the NBA began playing in its Florida bubble, the Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was passionately opposed to continuing the season. The death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer the previous month had prompted a national upheaval over racial injustice. On a conference call with more than 80 players, The Athletic reported, Irving said he didn’t feel right playing professional basketball under the circumstances, and he believed that sports would only be a distraction from pursuing equality.
Let’s call athletes ‘workers,’ and let’s call these NBA protests what they were – strikes
Abraham I. Khan (The Conversation, 29/08/2020)
The Milwaukee Bucks’ startling refusal to take to the court for their NBA playoff game on Aug. 26 was the most consequential political development in sports over the last 50 years.
In recent years, the prevailing media narrative is that athletes have routinely used their platforms to “raise awareness” or “bring attention” to a social issue.
Awareness, though, has its limits. Rarely does it lead to the kind of structural changes the shooting by police of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin seems to demand.