The Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons tipped off today at 8 PM ET. However, the game had an unusual start. Giannis Antetokounmpo decided to take a turnover by throwing the ball out of bounds at the tip and taking a knee with the rest of his team, the Detroit Pistons, and all staff members.
Following the turnover, Blake Griffin then got the ball and the 10 players on the court again took a knee with Griffin throwing the ball out of bounds. The Milwaukee Bucks then regained possession, as they did from the opening tip,and the game unofficially began.
The reason for the kneeling at the start of the game was in response to the Jacob Blake decision that was announced yesterday.
Jacob Blake was a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was shot by a local police officer. Blake was in critical condition and is now paralyzed from the incident.
Yesterday evening, the courts decided not to charge the police involved in the shooting. After the announcement that no charges would be filed against the officer, the Milwaukee Bucks released this statement,
Information about the Jacob Blake situation can be found HERE.
The shooting happened when the NBA players were in the COVID bubble this summer. At the time of the news in Kenosha, the country was already full of protest due to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other black men and women killed unjustly by the police. With the Jacob Blake shooting being in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bucks felt the need to take action and decided to boycott game five in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Along with that Milwaukee Bucks, LeBron James showed support to Jacob Blake
The NBA has always been vocal about its support of the Black Lives Matter movement. During the peaceful protests this summer, many players were out in their local communities marching and giving speeches to help assemble and bring people together.
Once play began, players continued to use their platform on the court to show their support of the movement through speaking out on racial issues during their media time. Prior to last nights LA Lakers game, LeBron James spoke on the Jacob Blake decision stating it was a "blow to the heart,"
LeBron has always been a player that has spoken up when he feels there has been an act of injustice, whether it is about his personal life or social issues. The Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons also spoke up with their actions, not their words, by showing solidarity before the game, which Milwaukee won 130-115.Published 07 Jan 2021, 09:09 IST