Toronto Mike

NBA Players Stage Wildcat Strike in Protest of Police Violence

I'm thinking of these words spoken yesterday by the Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet in the wake of Sunday's shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We're the ones with the microphones in our face, we're the ones who have to make a stand," he said. "The responsibility falls on us to make a change to stop being oppressed. At what point do we not have to speak about it any more?

Are we going to hold everybody accountable, or are we just going to put the spotlight on Black people or Black athletes or entertainers and say 'What are you doing? What are you contributing to your community? What are you putting on the line?'

What are you putting on the line? I've been thinking about that often this summer. Moments ago, NBA players put something on the line when the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic didn't take court for game five of their first round series. The Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers are also staging a wildcat strike tonight, forcing the NBA to postpone these games.

The Raptors and Celtics have also met about doing the same for their game tomorrow night. We're living history as I type and the season is very much in peril.

Hashtags didn't work, taking a peaceful knee during the anthems didn't work, and now it's come to boycotting playoff games in protest of systemic racism and police brutality.

They're putting their livelihood on the line.

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