The Black Lives Matter movement gained unprecedented momentum in the sporting world on Wednesday after NBA team Milwaukee Bucks sparked a historic boycott that led to sports being halted across the country.
The protest began over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. Blake was seriously injured after being shot point blank in the back seven times by police officers in a confrontation captured on video. It was the latest spark in increasing protests from athletes over police brutality against African-Americans, a movement that reached a head earlier this year over George Floyd’s murder.
The NBA postponed its entire slate of Wednesday fixtures after the Bucks refused to play game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.
The boycotts spread to other sports, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds becoming one of several Major League Baseball games to be postponed. In tennis, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka abruptly announced her withdrawal from the WTA Western & Southern Open semi-finals and the tournament later suspended play for a day.
Elsewhere, the Women’s NBA postponed its scheduled fixtures for Wednesday, while Major League Soccer also called off five of six games.
The stand taken by athletes across the world received plenty of appreciation on social media. Here are some reactions: