Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are planning to boycott game 1 of their playoff series as social tensions keep rising in the US with the Jacob Blake incident drawing the ire of the entire league.
The NBA is set for a turmoil period after it was reported earlier that the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are planning to boycott the game 1 of their eastern conference semi-finals as social tensions continue to rise inside the bubble.
An unarmed Black man named Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier on Sunday leading to massive unrest in the country.
NBA players and staff have expressed their disgust and sadness on the incident. The NBA players had informed the league that they intend to carry on with their awareness programs from inside the bubble.
Also Read: Why is Boycott NBA trending on Twitter?
Player have openly spoken about how the Jacob Blake shooting has affected them and a lot of them are disappointed that despite their efforts of sending a positive message from the NBA Bubble, things still are not getting better.
NBA players to boycott Raptors-Celtics game 1?
A lot of athletes are contemplating their next move after Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back. The players have submitted their plea to the NBA Players Union. President Chris Paul and first Vice-President of the Union Andre Iguodala attended the meet.The Raptors and Celtics are already down on the idea of boycotting the first game of their playoff series.
Both teams have sat down and discussed boycotting the game and will do so again tonight to arrive at some conclusion.
Players from both teams feel that boycotting the game will put pressure on state jurisdictions to take strong action against the offenders.
Just wearing a ‘Black Lives matter’ shirt and painting it on the court will not suffice. Players feel that a strong message needs to be sent in order for this police brutality to stop.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
The NBA players had certain reservations about entering the bubble as they believed that sporting events will divert the attention of the country from the social movement.
Players like Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard had already warned everyone about the scenario and the players are feeling the pain now.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said the following in the aftermath of the incident:
“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. I know it’s not that simple. But, at the end of the day, if we’re gonna sit here and talk about making change, then at some point we’re gonna have to put our nuts on the line and actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility. I’m just over the media aspect of it. It’s sensationalized, we talk about it every day, that’s all we see, but it just feels like a big pacifier to me.”
The Raptors star indicated that the players might actually end up boycotting the games, as he feels that would send a strong enough message and maybe, just maybe spark some change.
Nick Nurse: “Boycotting the game has come up for them as a way to again try to demand a little more action. And I think that’s really what they want. I think there’s enough attention and there’s not quite enough action, and I think that’s what I can sense from the discussion.”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) August 26, 2020
Will boycotting NBA games help?
The league has been doing its best to push the envelope on supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’. The players and coaching staff confined in the bubble will need to come up with better ideas to drive ahead the initiative.
Superstars like LeBron James have been trying to do their best as the Lakers’ star has sported t-shirts and caps to propagate the cause and has used his social media reach to create as much awareness as possible.
If the players actually end up boycotting the playoff game, it will surely garner a massive media attention. However, the NBA would have to deal with the consequences as it would lead to losses on various fronts. The players remain stern on their stance and with the social tensions rising rapidly in the country, the NBA might heading for a tough week ahead.