Several teams in the NBA, MLB and MLS have staged walkouts in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
On Sunday (August 23), footage emerged of 29-year-old black man Jacob Blake being shot 7 times in the back by a police officer as he tried to enter his vehicle in Wisconsin. He is currently recovering in hospital but is now paralysed from the waist down, his family said.
Since footage of the incident emerged online, protests have taken place on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin. To show their support for the protests, several teams from America’s pro leagues have staged a walkout.
Yesterday (August 26), the Milwaukee Bucks were due to arrive on the basketball court at 4PM ET for Game 5 of their play-off series against Orlando Magic but did not emerge from the locker room. They released a statement calling for justice for Jacob Blake in the afternoon.
“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable,” they said in a statement.
“In this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.”
Two other NBA playoff games – between the Portland Trail Blazers and the LA Lakers; and the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets – were also postponed yesterday. The WNBA also postponed all three games which were scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
In football, five MLS matches were postponed and three baseball games were called off in the MLB after teams decided not to play.
The Milwaukee Brewers released a statement explaining their reason to walk out: “The players from the Brewers and Reds have decided not to play tonight’s baseball game.
“With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to draw as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression.”