Stupid politics has popped the NBA bubble. Without complete information, players for the Milwaukee Bucks, the LeBron-led L.A. Lakers, and the Clippers have decided that talking to politicians and sitting out in protest is better than the thing they’re paid to do: Play basketball.
The league has long ago rolled over and played dead to its stars and inflated egos who are filled with some false sense of societal worth outside the painted lines of their workplace. Now in the midst of a season-killing pandemic, which the NBA deserves much credit for murdering (remember Rudy Gobert’s stupid press conference stunt?), the players feel like they should sit out, while safe in their Disney World bubble, because another black man was shot by police in Wisconsin.
The Bucks would rather tweet than shoot baskets.
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey. Sheskey said he recovered a knife, and that Blake, who was severely injured but so far has survived his wounds, “admitted that he had a knife in his possession,” according to the DOJ. Officers tasered Blake, which did not stop him.
Then Blake walked around his vehicle to the driver’s side door and leaned forward. Sheskey then shot him. Rioters burned Kenosha to the ground.
But players like LeBron want to make a statement, when their statement should be made on the court, not preening in front of cameras and tweeting platitudes.
No matter how sympathetic we are to the plight of Black people and their interaction with police (especially white officers), we cannot stop the entire world and burn whole cities every time some Black man is shot while resisting arrest.
The NBA is making a huge mistake by failing to guide their teams and players in the purpose of the National Basketball League. It exists to play the sport in its name, not to play political games.
Coronavirus may have killed the season for baseball, basketball and other sports, but politics is killing the sports themselves.
Sorry, LeBron, but you should be playing.