Lakers-Blazers Game Five cancelled as players protest police brutality, shooting of Jacob Blake

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July 30, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, USA; LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers in a Black Lives Matter Shirt kneel with their teammates during the national anthem prior to the game against the LA Clippers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers have decided to sit out Game 5 of their first round series in protest of the sickening acts that have taken place in recent days, in which Jacob Blake was sickeningly and disturbingly shot in the back seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Earlier today, minutes after the Bucks decided to protest their game against the Orlando Magic, LeBron James tweeted the following:

This decision was very clearly not taken lightly, and reports have been growing about players’ discontent with being in the bubble amid the current situation unfolding both in Milwaukee and throughout the nation, as players have felt that their message is not being heard by kneeling and wearing shirts with social justice messages.

This is nothing like anything that has ever been seen before, and it has clearly been difficult for the players, who are being asked a lot by even being there. Players such as George Hill, Fred VanVleet, and Jaylen Brown have been vocal in their displeasure the last couple of days, as many players have come out to speak out about the unspeakable tragedies that keep befalling black men in this country. Players want the spotlight to no longer be on themselves, but to shine it onto yet another act of gross injustice aimed at a black man in this country.

Things have clearly hit a breaking point with the players, and they are now exercising their right to protest in a manner that has never been done before in an attempt to cope with the gravity of the situation and make their voices heard. As for the rest of the series and playoffs, it’s anybody’s guess as to what happens, but that must simply take a back seat now. Make no mistake, this is much bigger than basketball, and we stand with the players and teams who are fighting for real, tangible change.

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