Injustice, inequality, and police brutality have forced several prominent athletes and teams to stage their own protests
Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash
On Aug. 26, 2016, football quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the first time during the national anthem to protest the racial inequality and oppression against Black people. Exactly four years later, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and multiple players and teams from the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS are standing in solidarity against injustice after 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot seven times by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug.23.
Blake, who was reportedly attempting to stop an argument between two women, was captured on video by his neighbor as police shot him in his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.
NBA teams, specifically the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and their respective opponents decided to sit out their games today, Aug.27. James and Leonard also reportedly insisted to cancel the playoffs as a form of protest.
In the WNBA, pre-game press conferences and games were postponed. Players also took a moment to stand at half court and protest by wearing T-shirts calling for justice. Meanwhile in the MLB, the Milwaukee Brewers also sat out their game today against the Cincinnati Reds. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, more teams in the MLB are discussing the possibility of not playing in the following days.
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka also decided on Thursday that she will no longer compete in her semifinal match at the Western and Southern Open. Osaka wrote on Instagram that she feels there are more important matters that need to be addressed rather than playing tennis.