While everyone is sick and disgusted once again over another police shooting of an unarmed man, the Toronto Raptors want to bring attention to this in a whole new way.
The Raptors met on Tuesday to discuss how they want to respond to the shooting of Jacob Blake. One option that was on the table, was to boycott game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics on Thursday according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Tim Bontemps. Raptors’ guard Fred VanVleet confirmed after Tuesday’s practice that the team held a meeting.
“We knew coming here or not coming here was not going to stop anything, but I think ultimately playing or not playing puts pressure on somebody,” VanVleet said. “So, for example, this happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin, if I’m correct? Would it be nice if, in a perfect world, we all say we’re not playing, and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks — that’s going to trickle down. If he steps up to the plate and puts pressure on the district attorney’s office, and state’s attorney, and governors, and politicians there to make real change and get some justice.”
Blake was shot multiple times in the back by police in Wisconsin on Sunday. Blake has survived but is paralyzed from the waist down.
“I’m pretty sick to my stomach to have to sit up here and talk about this again,” said Norm Powell.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his team also met to discuss the incident. Stevens said none of his players said specifically that they were considering not playing on Thursday. Stevens called the video of the incident “horrifying.”
While boycotting is on the table, actually follow throwing is another thing. Maybe the NBA might give everyone a day off to reflect and find alternative ways to express themselves about the continuous social injustice happening in this country.