students react to the mlb and nba boycott
Mike Neville – Sports Editor
The shooting by Wisconsin police officers of Black man Jacob Blake has caught the attention of Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
Blake who is a father of three, had his children with him in the car when the incident occurred on Aug. 23.
In a display of peaceful protest against police brutality, teams of the NBA and MLB have boycotted and refused to play, trying to make social justice statements.
“They support the black community and others around us, there has been a lot of tension and these teams want to back their players,” said accounting major Cameron Litwinka, a junior.
The MLB has postponed games throughout the league, and the Mets and Marlins took a moment of silence and mutually agreed to not continue the game.
The moment of silence was for 42 seconds, in honor of Jackie Robinson who was the MLB’s first black baseball player.
Jackie Robinson Day, which is when players from all 30 MLB teams wear the number 42 was played the very next day.
In the NBA bubble, teams have also postponed games, with the Clippers, Bucks and Lakers proposing to cancel the season to get the message across.
“The Lakers and Clippers are the top teams in the West, by them canceling the season they are proposing a difference being made,” said business major Brandon Kelly, a junior.
The Lakers staked with all-stars like Lebron James and Anthony Davis have been on track to be a potential team in the NBA Finals.
“The teams are doing the right thing, and with the platform they have it can be used to spread a message that enough is enough,” said marketing major Sovongphanith Chhorn, a freshman.
After the season was suspended on March 11 due to COVID-19, 22 teams were brought to Florida to compete with a focus on social justice.
At the restart of the NBA season in the bubble, the NBA has displayed the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the court and allowed players to display messages of empowerment on their jerseys.
“It seemed like this was working at first, but other incidents happened after so in the end it didn’t really work out as they hoped,” said Chhorn.
The slogans and the jerseys were brought forth to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in May.
“The Bucks are up 3-1, they could have won but decided there is something going on that’s more important than basketball,” said Kelly.
The Bucks, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo were the first team to boycott in the NBA this season, what followed was a chain reaction.
Although the NBA season will continue for now, Kelly said if people want to start supporting the cause, the NBA must take action.
“There is nothing else they can do to spread the message, guys like Lebron who are getting older are taking responsibility,” said Kelly. “This is an important season for Lebron but there is something way bigger than basketball that is happening.”
Lebron is in his age 35 season and has been very outspoken in regard to police brutality on twitter and in the media.
The boycott only lasted for three days in the NBA but Litwinka said the boycott may happen again in the future if another incident occurs.
“The NBA is predominantly African American, and a lot of them feel as if they have no say and are not supported by the media and the players union,” said Litwinka According to ESPN, in the NBA, players of color represent 81.9 percent of the league and coaches of color make up 33.3 percent.