Earlier this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, an unarmed black man was shot in the back 7 times by the police. It was reported the following day that he had survived the murder attempt but he is now paralyzed.
Jacob Blake was living his life normally and in the blink of an eye after a targeted attack by a police force that knew they could get away with wildly excessive force, he’ll never walk again and he’s a police brutality statistic.
In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks decided that they wouldn’t be playing their Game 5 matchup against the Orlando Magic. The rest of the league followed suit as all three playoff games were cancelled.
From the NBA: All three Game 5s will be rescheduled pic.twitter.com/AMsw6JZSgF
— Bill Reiter (@sportsreiter) August 26, 2020
This needed to happen. We do not deserve to watch NBA games full of primarily black players right now. We have too much work to do. It’s important to label these events as NBA player strikes and not a ‘boycott’. A boycott is when consumers and customers decide to no longer support a product or company. A strike is when employees organize to withhold their labor until their demands are met.
This is a strike.
But what’s incredibly important now is that the players come out tomorrow with a clear list of changes they want to be made or else unfortunately, this will all just be performative nonsense and won’t matter.
My fear is that these players don’t know where to begin or what it would actually take to change the racist policing going on across this country.
“It’s being talked about …. taking a knee is not getting it done.” Norm Powell about the possibility of boycotting games.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) August 25, 2020
On Tuesday, there were reports that Norman Powell and members of both the Raptors and Celtics were considering sitting out of Game 1 on Thursday night. But the weird part of this quote is ‘taking a knee is not getting it done’.
You have to applaud the NBA’s full embrace of Black Lives Matters and allowing the players to express themselves freely on these issues. Allowing the players to kneel without attacking them the way NFL owners did a few years ago.
But we have to recognize there’s a massive difference between raising awareness on an issue and actually changing things. The players have done a phenomenal job of reminding everyone on a daily basis that the police are targeting black people. You can no longer be indifferent on the issue. You either agree or you’re racist. No half-stepping here.
That being said, kneeling during the anthem was NEVER going to stop this problem. There is no cop pulling a gun out on a black man that’s going to stop before he pulls the trigger because he remembered that Kyle Lowry had ‘Education Reform’ on the back of his jersey.
It’s wildly naive to believe that you can change the hearts and minds of racists. That’s literally never happened in the history of history. The only racists who have ever changed their mind justified in their heads that there are ‘good’ blacks and ‘bad’ ones. No one has ever been fully converted.
The way you end racism is to change the laws and the social norms that allow racism to prevail. I’m sure there were plenty of slave owners that didn’t believe they were racist because they called the said ‘please’ before making them work on plantations all day every day.
You end racism by evolving the societal standards and you do that by changing the laws, policies and most importantly in this particular case, you get these fucking police budgets.
And again, I fear the NBA player strike won’t have the fangs to demand this change. Damn, that was a bar. XXL Freshman Class 2021. But yea anyway, he’s Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers, being so close to making a good point and then falling over his shoelaces.
Doc Rivers: “My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund them and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else.” https://t.co/dRDCvKed7J
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 26, 2020
Doc was clearly upset ad almost tearful in this post game press conference. And then he proceeded to say that his dad was a cop and good cops exist and that they shouldn’t be defunded which cancels out any emotion shown.
“I’m so upset about this shooting and we should not do anything about it except hope they magically decide to change”.
The police absolutely needs to be defunded yesterday. These college dropouts are giving military equipment and the ultimate benefit of the doubt to use those weapons whenever they see fit which seems to be any time they are barely threatened by a brown person.
There is no such thing as a good cop. If you work in a police department then there is a 1000% chance that at least ONE cop is taking advantage of the system by either participating in police brutality or something like dipping into police property seizures and getting free shit from criminals they aprehend. No matter the severity, there is no less than one officer doing evil and the stakes are far too high for you to stay silent and allow your coworkers to behave in this way.
Not to mention the hundreds and thousands of cops in the streets every night beating the shit out of protestors. There are zero good cops. This is not a problem you solve by patting these pieces of shit on the head and saying ‘awww we know how hard your job is, we know you’re actually good at heart’. Fuck that. Fuck cops.
The NBA player strike needs to come out with exact demands that include defunding the police. That needs to be said. We cannot keep pretending as if this will go away if we simply tell the police to stop being racist. They intentionally target black communities for easy arrests, they handle them aggressively and escalate situations and then use excessive force to calm the chaotic circumstance they created in the first place. And they know there are zero consequences for their cruelty.
And it’s important for me to say, if the NBA players come out with a generic statement that racism is bad or whatever, today’s strike made every stop dead in their tracks and talk about Jacob Blake. I will always applaud action or inactivity. Even if for one day, they did SOMETHING which is more than what most of us have or can do about this problem.
Also, lol at the Orlando Magic who 1000% did not mean to boycott shit and were ready to lose to Milwaukee and finally go home.