The NBA took an unprecedented stand Wednesday in the ongoing fight against police brutality and systemic racism. It began with the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to take the court in their Game 5 matchup against the Orlando Magic.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets soon followed, and they were later joined by the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. Players then gathered inside the Walt Disney World bubble to discuss what next steps to take. A vote was held, with the majority of NBA teams choosing to finish the playoffs.
However, it wasn’t a unanimous agreement, as both the Lakers and L.A. Clippers reportedly voted in favor of boycotting the rest of the season. LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard were said to be the driving force for their respective teams.
After holding subsequent team meetings and another general session Thursday morning, James and Lakers reportedly have reversed course and now believe it would be best to finish out the year, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
The Lakers players met as a group a couple of times since last night’s meeting, including this morning before they went into the group meeting with the rest of the teams. https://t.co/EQRi9fwhhB
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) August 27, 2020
James was said to have left Wednesday’s meeting prior to it ending, prompting his Lakers teammates and Clippers players to do the same.
Now that James is back on board with finishing the playoffs, more NBA players have gotten behind the idea as well. Thursday’s playoff games have already been postponed, but the belief is that action could resume as early as this weekend.
LeBron continues to advocate for change
Two days before the boycott, James was among the players to again express his exasperation over the lack of progress with ending social injustices.
“In reaction to what happened, what I can say is if you’re sitting here telling me there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and lying to not only me but every African-American, every Black person in the community,” James said of the Jacob Blake shooting.
“We see it over and over and over. If you watch the video, there were multiple moments where if they wanted to they could’ve tackled him. They could’ve grabbed him. They could’ve done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing? His family is there, kids are there, it’s in broad daylight.
If that video is not being taken by that person across the street, do we even know if we see that video? There’s talks about the cops didn’t have their body cams on; that’s a possibility. Quite frankly it’s just [expletive] up in our community.
“I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified.”
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