"There are moments that transcend sports, actions that get seared into the public consciousness and alter the course of history," says Nancy Armour. "The Milwaukee Bucks’ refusal to take the court for their playoff game Wednesday afternoon is now one of them. By deciding not to play, and bringing a good portion of the sports world to a halt, the Bucks held a mirror up to America, demanding it confronts what too many have ignored, excused away or, worst of all, accepted. Systemic racism, the poisonous attitudes and mindset that allow a police officer to treat a Black person as if they have no worth, no humanity, is woven tight into the fabric of this country. The very foundations of American society – education, housing, banking, policing, our criminal justice system, you name it – are rooted in racism. And unlike when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee to protest police brutality, four years ago to the day Wednesday, there will be no distorting this message. Within an hour, the NBA was forced to postpone the day’s remaining games. Not long after that, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that they would not play, either, and at least two other Major League Baseball games were called off. The WNBA, long a leader in social justice issues, stood in solidarity with the NBA and also refused to play...Anyone who thinks this quiet rage will blow over, or won’t have a lasting impact, doesn’t recognize how significantly the world just shifted. For 400 years now, in word and deed, this country has told Black Americans that they have no power or sway. That they must 'shut up and dribble,' as Black athletes are so often instructed. By refusing to play, the Bucks said they are no longer willing to be America’s escape, celebrated when they’re entertaining us but treated like trash when they take off their uniforms. They will not be put off by the hollow promises of change each time another Black man or woman is killed or abused by police, and you can bet their courage will embolden others."
TOPICS: NBA, ESPN, Pardon the Interruption, SportsCenter, Dave Roberts, Jacob Blake, Michael Wilbon, Mike Tirico, Naomi Osaka, Pete Carroll, Black Lives Matter, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NFL, Sports, WNBA