August 26, 2020 will go down as one of the most memorable days in sporting history. There have been protests before in relation to civil rights in the sporting world but almost none were as widespread as these.
Another senseless and needless shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by another police officer led to the peaceful and powerful demonstration around the sporting world. The shooting happened in Wisconsin which made it all the more real to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Bucks Take a Stand
They were the first NBA team to start the demonstration. The Bucks players decided not to come out of their locker rooms to play their Game 5 playoff game against the Utah Jazz. That sparked players from the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trailblazers to also peacefully strike their playoff Game 5s.
While all this was happening there was some confusion on what was happening behind closed doors. Reports were coming out stating that some players were upset that they weren’t informed about the Bucks’ decision to not play. Other players came out and stated that they were inspired and fully supported the Bucks’ decision to not play.
Uncertainty on the First Day
Later on, there were reports that there was a meeting held between team executives and players to figure out how they wanted to proceed with the rest of the season. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were the only teams, from those left in the playoffs, to vote against continuing the season.
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard were the most vocal about the stance to not play with multiple reports stating that LeBron James exited the meeting because he was very upset saying that owners were not doing enough.
We all went to sleep thinking that the NBA season could very well be over, but then was quickly addressed in the morning. LeBron James had apparently been come to the conclusion that the best move might be to continue the season.
At the other side of the sporting world, we had the MLB dealing with it in their own way. The Dodgers and Giants were among the first to not play their game in solidarity to Jacob Blake. 7 games on Thursday were not played for that same reason. Almost every team in MLB had at least one scheduled game not played as a form of protest.
This actually seems to be the benchmark for all the major sporting leagues in the Unites States. What at first appeared to be a long term protest, seems to be more of a day to day protest.
But the length of the protest does not matter. What matters now is what was done about it because there was definitely a feeling of satisfaction about what was accomplished.
Power of Protests
NBA stadiums will now be converted into voting polls and be made accessible for those more at risk for COVID deaths wherever possible. And there will be ad space saved to bring awareness to upcoming elections, plus voting announcements.
Any change for the better is worth any cost at this point.
The NBA is set to return on Saturday August 29, 2020 starting with the 3 games that were not played on August 26, 2020. One of those being the Los Angeles Lakers looking to take care of the Portland Trailblazers. Their last game ended in a huge blow out win on Black Mamba Day for the Los Angeles Lakers. The another being the Houston Rockets hoping to get the edge over the Oklahoma City Thunder now that they have Westbrook back.
At the end of the day, sports are just sports. If cancelling a few games every now and again can cause any sort of change, it is worth it. Even if means cancelling seasons, change is worth the cause.
Let’s be better. Be better that you were yesterday. Don’t ignore what’s going on. How can you? We live in an imperfect world so we have to try to fix it. No one should have to be scared for having a certain kind of skin color. Those with power should be held accountable when power is abused. There is nothing radical about that.
Please try to put yourself in other’s shoes because your life may not be like others. We’re in this together.