Game 5 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic played. This comes as the players came together to decide that they were to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Orlando will reportedly not accept a forfeit from Milwaukee, but that’s not the point nor is it what should be talked about. This is the latest of a string of players-lead protests against police brutality which includes kneeling during the national anthem and walking off the field before the playing of the anthem. There is only one way that I can look at the events of what happened on that basketball court. That way is to stand with these players.

We Need Change

For far, far too long, racial injustice has run rampant in this country. I wrote another column like this in wake of the murder of George Floyd, and I know that it’s pretty near to certain that this won’t be the last one I write, either. And that is a sad reality, on multiple fronts.

For players, especially those on the Bucks, this is personal. Sterling Brown had a knee on his neck and was being beaten for parking incorrectly by Milwaukee PD. Former Buck John Henson went shopping for jewelry and had the cops called on him. This isn’t just something that happens to the average, everyday man or woman. For people of color in America, no matter your standing or profile, this is something that can happen. For these players, this is personal. This has gone on for far too long.

It’s sad that I have to keep writing these columns. It’s sad that it’s taken me this long to wake up and see the true injustices that have this country in a chokehold. I know that I have caused harm with my actions and inactions in the past. I will always be ashamed that it took me as long as it did for me to realize, but now that I am here, I will continue to push for change. These players deserve our respect. More importantly, people of color in America deserve to live a life that they can walk down the street and not have to worry about making it home to see their families. 

Support the Players

The players of the Milwaukee Bucks joined in on protests in Milwaukee following the murder of George Floyd (Image Credits: AP, republicworld.com)

If you can watch the video of Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back and not call for change, please unfollow me on Twitter and stop reading my articles. There are far too many examples of why this country needs fundamental change. This is about more than sports. This about our Black brothers and sisters being able to live life without fear of being gunned down by those that are sworn to protect. These players are pleading for change. America, are you listening?

This is bigger than sports. It’s bigger than who takes Game 5. This is bigger than who wins the NBA Championship. The need for change for our bleeding country is incredibly apparent, and those that turn a blind eye to that will be on the wrong side of history.

We can’t just continue down this path. We desperately need fundamental change. These players are just making their voices heard. We need to listen. In reality, we needed to listen a long time ago. For far too many, it’s too late. But we can be the change we need. Support the players. Support Black Lives Matter.

Follow me on Twitter @AMFKristensen. You can find my other works here.

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Anthony Kristensen

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