According to Fred VanVleet and Norm Powell, the Toronto Raptors are considering a boycott of future games in response to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“I’m in a different place today, emotionally speaking,” VanVleet reportedly said during a press call on Tuesday. “It’s starting to feel like everything we’re doing is just going through the motions, nothing’s changing. What are we willing to give up? Do we actually give a f**k about what’s going on?”
Graphic footage of shooting on Sunday, from the Associated Press, shows police shooting at Blake’s back around seven times as he walked away and got into the driver’s side of an SUV. Today, it was reported by the Chicago Sun-Timesthat Blake has “eight holes” in his body and is currently paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors are currently unsure if Blake’s paralysis is permanent.
As footage of the horrific incident spread across the internet, NBA players were quick to react to the shooting as they demand justice for Jacob Blake. Now, some players in the league are considering more direct action in the form of a boycott.
During a media call on Sunday, August 23rd, Norm Powell said that he’s “sick to his stomach that he has to sit up here and talk about this again.”
“The police officers that are involved in these instances aren’t scared… the taxpayers are paying for these administrative leaves,” Powell explained. “Ain’t nothing gonna change (until we) stand up and demand things. Until that is done, ain’t sh** gonna change.”
Celtics guard Marcus Smart also talked about the possibility of a boycott, but emphasized the fact that nothing is certain yet for The Celtics game against the Raptors on Thursday.
“It’s been talked about, but we haven’t confirmed anything. It’s definitely in the back of our minds to not play,” Smart said, according to reports from CBS Boston. “There’s more important things than basketball right now. … Something has to be done, and right now our focus should not be on basketball.”
Other players in the NBA have spoken out about the devastating shooting of Jacob Blake. In a video conference on Monday August 21st, three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP LeBron James expressed that he felt shocked and wanted to focus on a way that he could help Black people in America become greater as the last few months have been tumultuous for the community in regards to police brutality deaths.
“If you’re sitting here and telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him just before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and lying to not only me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community,” James exclaimed on Monday after the Lakers’ 135-115 win over Portland.
Jacob Blake is currently under going surgery in the hospital to remove the bullets that impacted him. Sources say there’s a long road a head in terms of his recovery and we pray for him and wish him a speedy recovery.