Celebrities took to social media to react to the Milwaukee Bucks deciding to go on strike and call off their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in solidarity with Jacob Blake. 29-year-old Blake was shot multiple times in the back by police officers on Sunday (August 23rd) in Kenosha, Wisconsin as he entered an SUV. The shooting took place in front of his three children.
The Bucks said in a statement, [“The past four months have shed light on the racial injustices facing our African American community. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings. Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha and the additional shooting of protesters. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So our focus today cannot be basketball.”] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC . . . cannot be basketball)
According to Billboard, other NBA teams followed suit, including the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, The Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers also taking part in the strike.
KENNY SMITH STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE BUCKS
In addition, yesterday afternoon (August 26th), Kenny Smith decided to walk off the set of TNT's Inside The NBA in solidarity with the players.
Before walking off set, he said, “Right now my head is ready to explode like in the the thought of what’s going on. I don’t know if I’m appropriate enough to say it what the players are feeling and how they’re feeling. I haven’t talked to any player."
He continued, ["As a black man as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not to be here tonight. . . . And figure out what happens after that. I just don't feel equipped today." Ernie: "And I respect that."] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC . . . I respect that)
Following the news, several celebrities took to social media to react to the Bucks. Barack Obama tweeted, "I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values."
LeBron James tweeted, "F*CK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT."
Whoopi Goldberg wrote, "All hail the NBA i am proud of their decision to boycott upcoming games as they demand answers about the latest shooting of another un armed Black man, Jacob Blake.. and in the words of Doc Rivers: It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, that doesn’t love us back…"
Diddy: "The power of unity! This is dope to see."
Jemele Hill: "The NBA season is going to be cancelled because of racism, not COVID. Think about that."
Chance The Rapper: "Abolish the Police."
Lecrae: "If you’re more upset about the athletes boycotting than you are about the death, division, and discrimination in our society…your priorities are wrong."
Ice Cube: "I applaud all the NBA players who decided that now is not the time for sport and play."
LeVar Burton: "Thank you @Bucks."
Kenny Smith walks off set of Inside The NBA :
The Milwaukee Bucks’ statement :