26 August 2020 22:48
"We tried to be peaceful, kneeling," Marcus Smart of the Celtics said on Tuesday. "We tried to protest. And for us, we tried to come out here and get together and play this game and try to get our voice across. But it's not working, so obviously, something has to be done. Right now, our focus shouldn't really be on basketball." Two N.B.A. teams sitting out a playoff game to demonstrate for a social cause has virtually no precedent.
On Tuesday, the N.F.L.'s Detroit Lions canceled practice to protest Blake's shooting. Multiple W.N.B.A. players, such as the Atlanta Dream's Renee Montgomery, skipped their seasons to focus on social justice efforts. George Hill, a guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, told reporters on Monday: "We shouldn't have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are." Doc Rivers, the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, called Blake's shooting "sickening" on Tuesday, after the Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. "Just watching the Republican convention, and they're spewing this fear," Rivers said. "All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones who were denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung. We've been shot. All you keep doing is hearing about fear. It's amazing why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back." But he suggested that players not boycott, citing the situation of Donald Sterling, who was the owner of the Clippers when the N.B.A. banned him for life in 2014 after a recording of him making racist statements emerged. At the time, the Clippers were set to face the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs and the teams had discussed a boycott. "My message is go after your dreams," Rivers said, adding "When we were little kids, in the backyard by ourselves and we had these dreams about winning a championship, Donald Sterling was not in our dreams and neither were these cops." This is a developing story and will be updated.