Moved by the videotaped shooting of Jacob Blake, many professional athletes — some who had previously donned Black Lives Matter T-Shirts and knelt for the national anthem to protest racial injustice — made a more dramatic statement.
They refused to play.
NBA players led the way Wednesday and Thursday by sitting out of scheduled playoff games in the “bubble” in Florida, the league's answer to finishing up the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The movement quickly spread to the other professional sports.
“We are scared as Black people in America,” LeBron James said. “Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified.”
Athletes similarly came together after the death of George Floyd, another Black man who died when an officer pressed his knee into his neck for more than seven minutes. Some players knelt during the national anthem or stood in silence, fists raised, while others wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts or had names of Black people killed by police on their jerseys.
But then the cellphone video of Blake getting shot in the back seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, emerged.
Athletes say the moment has forced them to act. Here's a look at what they are doing across the major professional sports to call for an end to racial injustice:
NBA: The Milwaukee Bucks set off a wave of postponements in professional sports Wednesday, when players refused to take the court for a playoff game against Orlando. The two other playoff games for that day were also postponed, as were the three games set for Thursday.