Sport by Sport: Teams, Athletes Refuse to Play in Protest of Jacob Blake Shooting – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast

(CNN) — In the sports world, athletes took a stand for Black Lives Matter Wednesday night by staging an unprecedented wildcat strike and refusing to play their regular games.

The decision began with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and stems from the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. The stand quickly spread to a number of sports – from basketball courts in Florida to baseball fields in California to football fields in places like Miami and Salt Lake City and even in the broadcast booth, or TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ analyst Kenny Smith took off his microphone and left the stage.

But the problem is bigger than Jacob Blake or George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. Malcolm Jenkins of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints has positioned the protests as a response to systemic racism baked into America, including police brutality, cycles of incarceration and the looting of generational wealth.

“Until we keep demanding it, until ‘Black Lives Matter’ goes from being just an idea or a goal that we’re trying to achieve as a society and actually happening in the streets, we will not see any peace,” he said. noted. “And I think we will continue to see athletes, artists as well as citizens disrupting the status quo until this is recognized.”

Here’s a look at the teams and athletes who stepped down to make their voices heard.

NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks did not come out of their locker room until after their scheduled tip at 4 p.m. Wednesday as they decided to decline to play their playoff game.

A little after, the NBA announced that would postpone Game 5 of three different playoff series — the Bucks vs. Orlando Magic, the Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers.

The postponed matches have not yet been rescheduled.

Three Thursday playoff games were also postponed, but the league said so. hoped to resume matches on Friday or Saturday.

Strikes are prohibited under the NBA collective bargaining agreementmeaning Bucks players broke their own contract to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Bucks players said they “demand justice for Jacob Blake and demand that officers be held accountable. “

“The past four months have brought to light the persistent racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens across the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings,” they said in a statement.

“Despite the overwhelming call for change, there has been no action, so we cannot focus on basketball today.”

The Los Angeles Lakers also issued a statement supporting the players’ decision.

“Eighty percent of NBA players are black men. We cannot love them for the joy and entertainment they bring to the world, but sit in silence and not use our platforms and our resources to amplify their voice when they demand the justice and equality that America promised us all, but denied black people for too long,” the Lakers said.

WNBA

Representing the six teams scheduled to play on Wednesday, Atlanta Dream player Elizabeth Williams announced that WNBA players stand in solidarity with “our NBA brothers” and will not play either.

The ESPN2 broadcast showed players from all six teams set to enter the court with arms outstretched and on their knees while wearing shirts spelling out Jacob Blake’s name.

The WNBA announced that all three games scheduled for Wednesday night have been postponed. On Thursday, the league also announced the postponement of the day’s three scheduled games.

Instead of playing Thursday, the entire league of WNBA players stood arm in arm in solidarity.

“It’s important to note that this is not a strike,” Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) president and Los Angeles Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike said, reading a statement from the players at ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “This is not a boycott. This is definitely a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization.

Ogwumike said the players plan to play in matches scheduled for Friday.

“I feel like as a band we decided last night that we wanted to play,” Ogwumike said. “There are matches scheduled tomorrow. That’s what we’re ready to do, but it’s not without, of course, asking players to continue to amplify our voices in more ways than when we got here.

“We realize the job is not easy, but we also understand that the job is never done. There are things that happen that just allow us to take a moment – ​​that’s right; we can take a moment – and this moment when we came together and decided we needed time for ourselves to come back, regroup and continue to amplify our voices, and be there for our communities and demand change from the leaders who represent us at this time.”

MLB

Three MLB games were postponed Wednesday: Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants.

“With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to bring as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression,” a joint statement from the Brewers and Reds said.

“Given the pain in communities across Wisconsin and beyond following the shooting of Jacob Blake, we respect the decisions of a number of players not to play tonight,” a league statement said Wednesday. . “Major League Baseball stands united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice.”

Mets player Dominic Smith, who is black, was brought to tears on Wednesday, telling reporters after the Mets’ loss to the Marlins, “I think the hardest part is seeing that people still don’t care. And for this to happen continuously, it just shows the hatred in people’s hearts and it sucks. Being a black man in America isn’t easy.

Thursday, seven games would not take place: Minnesota Twins against Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies against Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles against Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics against Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies against Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox against the Blue Jays of Toronto and the Miami Marlins against the New York Mets.

In a powerful moment Thursday at Citi Field in New York, the Mets’ starting defense took the field as planned, then the remaining players from both teams emerged from their dugouts and a moment of silence was observed, which, according to the SNY TV show, lasted. 42 seconds, then left the field.

Before leaving the field, Miami Marlins player Lewis Brinson laid a “Black Lives Matter” jersey on home plate before leaving the field.

“Enough,” the Marlins tweeted.

MLB is to observe Jackie Robinson Day on Friday to honor the Hall of Famer who broke the color barrier, who wore number 42.

NFL

Several National Football League teams canceled practice Thursday to focus on conversations about race.

The Denver Broncos have joined the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Football Team and New York Jets in forgoing practice to allow players to weigh in on what they can to make changes.

The Chicago Bears said in a statement Thursday that the organization has decided to suspend football activities “to speak to each other, our coaches and our staff where we stand on the real issues of race and brutality. police in our country”.

“We had a productive discussion, but we all agreed that talks and discussions are no longer enough and that we must act,” the statement read. “We are putting plans in place to take action in our communities and together we believe we can make a real difference. We need action not only today, but in the days to come.

MLS

Five Major League Soccer games scheduled for Wednesday night have been postponed, the league has announced.

“The entire Major League Soccer family unequivocally condemns racism and has always stood for equality, but we must do more to take concrete action to affect change,” MLS said. “We will continue to work without players, our clubs and the wider football community to harness our collective power to fight for equality and social justice.”

Tennis

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka announced on Wednesday that she will not play in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals on Thursday.

“Watching the continued genocide of black people at the hands of the police honestly makes me sick,” she said. wrote.

Later Wednesday, after Osaka’s posting, it was announced that the Western & Southern Open would pause the tournament on Thursday, resuming on Friday.

On Thursday, a statement from her management team to The Guardian and The New York Times said she planned to play Friday instead.

“They offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the move,” Osaka said. She also thanked the WTA and the tournament for their support.

A WTA spokesperson told CNN that Osaka did not officially withdraw from the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday. She is expected to face Elise Mertens in the semi-finals on Friday.

NHL

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continued Wednesday with two games. However, the league elected to postpone two games scheduled for Thursday and two scheduled for Friday.

“After lengthy discussions, NHL players believe the best course of action would be to step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as planned,” a joint statement from the league and league said Thursday. players’ association. “The NHL supports the players’ decision and will reschedule these four games beginning Saturday and adjust the rest of the second-round schedule accordingly.

“Black and brown communities continue to face real and painful experiences. The NHL and the NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before it can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice.

Before the start of Game 3 of the second-round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins on Wednesday, there was a moment of reflection for racism in response to Blake’s shooting.

Ruth J. Leeds