Kenosha Shooting Prompts NBA Players to Fight Social Injustice

Daniel Garrison, Staff Writer

NBA teams voted to continue the season after a brief suspension in response to the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The movement started with the Milwaukee Bucks, who play less than an hour from Kenosha,  refusing to play their game on Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic. All other games that day were cancelled shortly thereafter.  

The following morning, all playoff teams met to discuss what action the league should take. Every team except the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers voted to continue the season. 

Lakers forward Lebron James was adamant about cancelling the season and walked out of the meeting due to the Bucks’ lack of organization.  

The NBA and the NBA Players Association reached an agreement on continuing the season. The NBA agreed to establish a Social Justice Coalition, turn all NBA arenas into voting centers and use advertisement space to “promote civic engagement.”

Many fans believe this compromise was the most effective way that the players could spread their message.

“I think finishing the season would spread the message, but I do think that their decision to keep playing encourages national unity because sports bring people together,” senior Preston Weaver said.

Since the NBA has restarted in August, both the players and the league have been very vocal on matters of social justice. Players wore social justice messages such as “equality” or “how many more” on their jerseys, and the courts displayed the words “black lives matter” instead of the usual team logos. Many believe that displaying the players’ advocacy to the millions that watch the games is the most effective way to spread the message. 

Senior Joey Barnard believes that the recent vote is just another example of this type of advocacy.

“I think either way they voted would have got the attention that they wanted,” Barnard said. “Whether they cancelled or continued doesn’t make a difference. Just initiating the vote brought the cause to more headlines than if they just would have cancelled [without a vote].”