Shams broke the news, “Woj” made it official. Monday night’s contest between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets game was postponed hours before tip-off. Of the postponements this season. It is the first related to social unrest since the large-scale walk-out in the Orlando Bubble.
Like the Orlando Bubble walk-out, begun by the Milwaukee Bucks, this postponement is tied to the death of a Black male at the hands of police. The spark last fall was outside of Milwaukee in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This struck the Timbervoles even closer to home. In a suburb of Minneapolis, 20-year-old Duante Wright was fatally shot by a police officer who, reportedly, thought he had out his taser.
Wright’s death led to unrest in the greater Minneapolis area. Derek Chauvin’s ongoing trial in the Minneapolis area the weekend felt like a match hit a gasoline-drenched Duraflame log. Officer Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd’s death; a painful not-very-distant memory that sparked much of the unrest in the summer of 2020.
The Timberwolves and Nets are not alone in postponing tonight’s fun. The Minnesota Twins released a statement saying they would postpone tonight’s games against the Boston Red Sox:
This is the latest in a string of events that demonstrates players showing their power. Kyrie Irving, who was reportedly unavailable for Monday night, was not going to play for “personal reasons.” It bears mentioning that Irving saw boycotting the bubble as a place to demonstrate the player’s voice against injustice as well. It also bears mentioning that Kyrie Irving was tossed from the Nets loss on Saturday night after a verbal spat with Dennis Schroeder. It’s hard to tell what is going on with Kyrie at times… perhaps he felt this coming.
The NBA players are using their platform to have their voices heard. In a player-driven league, the players want to see tangible results in the markets they play in. In August, the Milwaukee Bucks reached out to the local and state-level government to discuss what can happen. Years ago David Stern sought to bring the personalities of the league to the fans’ living room. Now, those personalities are letting us know the issues in their communities that are important to them. Messages like “Vote,” “Equality,” and “Justice,” are simple reminders that NBA players are not immune to the injustices in our world. That’s why they were on jerseys in the bubble.
The NBA is full of unique voices. Each and everyone comes from a different walk of life and has their own perspective. If all of those individual voices continue to unite on one thing, it’s time for the rest of the world to as well.
Right now, folks that make a living and feed their families playing basketball are telling us there are more important things going on than basketball. Sounds like as good a reason as any to listen.