[NBA Playoffs\Jacob Blake Shooting]
VanVleet: “What are we willing to give up until we actually give a f*** about what’s going on? Or is it just cool to wear Black Lives Matter on the backdrop or wear a T-shirt. Like what does that really mean? Is it really doing anything?”
Toronto Raptors point-guard Fred VanVleet and some players (among the Raptors and Boston Celtics) are considering engaging in a boycott of the playoffs to protest Jacob Blake shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Celebrating your team’s qualification for the next round of the NBA playoffs should be a momentous occasion.
But for players across the league, instead of enjoying the fact they were one step closer to an NBA title, discussions were being had about boycotting following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
Blake underwent surgery Tuesday and his family says he is now paralyzed from the waist down. His shooting sparked nationwide demonstrations, with protesters demanding police reform.
Toronto Raptors point-guard Fred VanVleet confirmed ahead of the Raptors’ first game against the Boston Celtics that its players “had a meeting this morning” where “a number of things have been discussed,” while Celtics guard Marcus Smart said that a boycott is “something that’s in the back of our minds.”
And although VanVleet admitted he was initially “pretty excited” to make it to the next stage of the playoffs following the Raptors’ four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, watching Blake’s shooting radically changed emotions inside the bubble in Orlando.
“At some point, we’re the ones always with the microphones in our face,” the 26-year-old VanVleet said in a press conference. “We’re the ones always who have to make a stand.
“We’re the first ones and the responsibility falls on us to make a change to stop being oppressed. Are we going to hold everybody accountable or we’re just going to put the spotlight on Black people who are Black athletes or entertainers and say: ‘What are you doing, what are you contributing to the community, what are you putting on the line?’
“And then us, too, we’ve got to take responsibility as well. Like, what are we willing to give up until we actually give a f*** about what’s going on? Or is it just cool to wear Black Lives Matter on the backdrop or wear a T-shirt. Like what does that really mean? Is it really doing anything? I’m in a different place today just emotionally-speaking.”
Read the rest of this CNN story here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/26/sport/nba-boycott-playoffs-jacob-blake-fred-vanvleet-marcus-smart-jaylen-brown-doc-rivers-spt-intl/index.html