Before teams descended upon Orlando for the NBA restart, there was a lot of discussion on whether or not it was best for players to finish the season amidst the ongoing unrest regarding racial inequality and social injustice.
Players from all teams came together and worked with the league in order to work out a way for them to continue spreading their message while playing. Unfortunately, a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that may have left unarmed black man Jacob Blake paralyzed from the waist down has rehashed a ton of emotions and feelings.
The Milwaukee Bucks made the decision boycott Game 5 of their first-round series and the other contests of the day between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers followed suit.
Many players have since taken to social media to let their feelings be known, and Lakers guard JR Smith was no exception. He posted his message in support of the boycott, via NBA on ESPN:
JR Smith had a strong message relating to the NBA players' boycott. pic.twitter.com/80yPYnj5gv
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 26, 2020
Whether people are in support or against the actions of the players, this is something that clearly affects the majority of those around the league. It is an extremely personal topic and players came into the bubble saying they were not going to let their message die down and have kept that word.
Sitting out games, particularly in the playoffs, is a step that some wouldn’t be willing to take, but one that will get attention worldwide for the cause that these players are pushing for. It is already beginning to bleed into other leagues as well with players from the WNBA and MLB choosing to cancel games as well.
Players vote to resume playoffs
After two meetings that involved players and coaches from all teams remaining in the bubble, players decided Thursday morning to resume with the NBA Playoffs. However, the day’s games were postponed and are in the process of being re-scheduled for the weekend.
LeBron James reportedly left Wednesday night’s meeting in frustration and driving a contingent to walk away from the season. James and the Lakers are said to have held team meetings as well.
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