Referees huddle on an empty court at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic last Wednesday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Bucks boycotted the game to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

Referees huddle on an empty court at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic last Wednesday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Bucks boycotted the game to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

POLL: Where do you stand on game postponement protests?

Professional sports came to a halt last week in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Even in this crazy world turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, last week was an unprecedented one in the professional sports realm as the entire industry came to a halt because of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Athletes were already demonstrating against police violence toward minorities, following George Floyd’s death by asphyxia while having his neck knelt on by a police officer in Minneapolis in May, as well as Breonna Taylor’s incidental shooting death by police officers executing a no-knock search warrant in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.

Then on Aug. 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by a police officer and left paralyzed from the waist down.

This was the incident that caused America’s athletes to say, “Enough is enough.” It began last Wednesday when the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, who are based in Wisconsin, refused to take the court for Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

Others quickly followed suit. The rest of the NBA and the entirety of the WNBA halted play for multiple days. In Major League Baseball, the Seattle Mariners, who have the most Black players of any team in the league, were among the first to boycott games. Games were also postponed in MLS and the NHL. Tennis star Naomi Osaka temporarily dropped out of the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open in protest. The Seattle Seahawks canceled practice Saturday to ensure every player on the roster was registered to vote, and coach Pete Carroll delivered an impassioned 15-minute statement urging white Americans to learn more about the realities of living Black in America.

The athletes have been supported in their protests by their leagues. The NBA players only resumed playing Saturday after reaching an agreement with the league on taking steps to promote social justice and civic engagement, beginning with turning team facilities into voting locations for the 2020 election in November. The other leagues have resumed play as well.

While the scale of demonstrations is unprecedented, the crossing of sports and social issues is not unique. From heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali having his title stripped for refusing to fight in Vietnam in 1967, to the U.S. boycotting the 1980 Olympics in Moscow following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem because or racial inequities in the nation, sports have been used as a platform for speaking out on social issues.

So what about this instance? Are you accepting of professional athletes postponing games as a protest against police violence toward minorities? Let us know by voting in this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll.

Talk to us

More in Sports

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes as Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) closes in during the first half of their game Sunday at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Grading the Seahawks’ 35-30 victory over the Patriots

Seattle grades out strongly in yet another classic encounter between the two teams.

In this Oct. 14, 2014, file photo, the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman (25) talks with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the Seahawks won 24-23 at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL: What’s your favorite Seahawks-Patriots game?

The two franchises have played some doozies since Russell Wilson arrived as Seattle’s quarterback.

County Hall of Fame Class of 2020: 72-73 Meadowdale football

The then-Chiefs finished with a perfect 10-0 record and outscored opponents 248-66.

Former New England Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett II is inactive for the Seattle Seahawks for Sunday’s game, meaning he won’t be playing against his former team. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Seahawks vs. Patriots inactives: Dorsett sits again

Starting receivers Edelman and Harry are active for New England after being listed as questionable.

Noisy Seahawks fans will be absent for Sunday’s home opener

Seattle will be without its deafening homefield advantage on Sunday night against New England.

Meet the 9 new members of the Snohomish County Sports HOF

The class includes legendary teams, athletes, coaches and voices from the area.

Mariners top Padres, snap losing skid

Kyle Lewis homers as Seattle beats San Diego 4-1 to end a four-game losing streak.

County Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Sherrie Chambers-Wilson

The 1981 Snohomish High School graduate was named Female Athlete of the Year by USA Judo in 1995.

Sue Bird (left) and Breanna Stewart are looking to lead the Seattle Storm to the WNBA championship, just as they did in 2018. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL RESULTS: Readers have big belief in the Seattle Storm

More than three-quarters of the voters picked the Storm to claim the WNBA championship.

Most Read