Attention was taken off the NBA playoffs when a video of police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting unarmed black man Jacob Blake in the back seven times went viral. All the players participating in the league's restart have been strong and constant in their unified messages to end police brutality and institutionalized racism in America. Thus, when asked about the video today, their frustration and anguish that this keeps happening was clear.
It's also become clear to these men that simply speaking out isn't causing the widespread change they're calling for. Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors told reporters that boycotting a game or games is something the players have been talking about.
Boston's Marcus Smart said something similar when he met with media today. The Raptors and Celtics are slated to meet for Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday.
The players have knelt, donned t-shirts and jerseys adorned with social justice messages, and have dedicated most of their required time with media to speak on issues they feel to be the most important. Yet another black man was shot by police. George Hill, speaking to media yesterday, said that coming to the bubble was a mistake because it took the focus off the very issues they were trying to call attention to -- and it's unlikely he's alone in how he feels.
A boycott seems the natural next step in an effort to push change, because what they've done so far hasn't had the desired impact. We'll see what path they choose as the week goes on.