NBA players walk out of playoff games, taking a stronger stand against social injustice

Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

NBA players take a stand as they walkout on playoff games

With the frequent injustices taking place in America, it’s difficult to ascertain the true meaning of solidarity.

First, it was Breonna Taylor in early March, then George Floyd in May. Now, Jacob Blake. Athletes across the United States including NBA players have given the cold-shoulder after a recent police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old unarmed black man, was shot seven times in the back by police officials Sunday as he tried to enter his vehicle. The shooting triggered more massive protests in Wisconsin and across the country.

And, because of this, the Milwaukee Bucks, in addition to the five other playoff teams (Magic, Lakers, Rockets, Thunder, Trailblazers) decided to walk out of their playoff games in Game 5 of the three various playoff series. The WNBA, including five Major League Soccer games and three Major League Baseball games, were also canceled to express solidarity for Jacob Blake.

But there’s one problem. The Milwaukee Bucks’ players essentially broke their contracts to show opposition for police violence. Here’s the datum. The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has a no-strike and no-lockout provision. Here’s Section I of the provision.

"” During the term of this agreement, neither the Player’s Association nor its members shall engage in any strikes, cessations, or stoppages of work, or any other similar interference with the operations of the NBA or any of its Teams. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this Section 1 shall impair the rights accorded the Players Association by Article XXXIX, Section 3 (Termination by Players Association/Anti-Collusion) or Section 6 (Mutual Right of Termination)."

Risky business for most players, but historically, there’s more datum that hasn’t been confabulated.

This isn’t the first time NBA players have taken a stand to oppose injustices in America. Over 60 years ago, Bill Russell led an NBA boycott in 1961 advocating against racially motivated behavior. His then teammates of the Boston Celtics followed suit after experiencing similar situations of injustice in Lexington, KY, St. Louis, Missouri, and Boston.

LeBron James and LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers have been on the frontlines of the cold-shoulder over Jacob Blake’s shooting. LeBron told news outlets how terrifying it is to live in America as a black man. That same feeling has disseminated itself in the hearts of African-Americans who aren’t athletes or basketball players. The real word in this situation is, terrified.

It’s a terrifying problem with no adequate conclusion. Opinions are compartmentalized without instantiated sourcing. And, consequently, no one has contributed any signs of truth to the manner. Although the Bucks’ players took a risk against the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, there’s still more to the narrative. But even if the narrative of racially motivated behavior changes, will it change the narrative of constitutional law or any of its impositions?

That question is more prevalent than the problem itself. But there isn’t a stoppage in asking questions. How do you eradicate racially motivated behavior in America? Is there a possible way to evaluate police formalities and law enforcement training?

Questions without an adequate solution. For LeBron and Doc Rivers, they’ve shown their concerns for the demise and mistreatment of black men in America. There’s only one truthful definition of solidarity, and it was displayed during the NBA’s re-opening night. Players unified with social justice message emblems on t-shirts.

Solidarity. It’s needed more than ever. Although players took a risk against their contracts, they didn’t worry about taking risks to stand up for Jacob Blake.

A cold-shoulder with no true conclusion in a nightmare of divisiveness.

How long will this cold-shoulder last?

That question should be answered soon, but not in 48 minutes.