IEver more athletes and leagues are joining the protests of basketball professionals against police violence and racism in the USA and have received criticism from America’s President Donald Trump for this. The NHL ice hockey players went public and announced that they would suspend the playoffs taking place in Canada for the time being.
Vegas Golden Knights black pro Ryan Reaves said, “This is a much stronger message than anything a player or two could do on the ice. The conversation started with white players from other teams who wanted to speak. That’s strong. “The league said:” The NHL supports the decision and will make up for the four duels on Saturday and adjust the schedule accordingly. “
Several dozen professionals from the teams active in the NHL bubble in Edmonton – the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Colorado Avalanche, the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars – stood behind the speakers in the crowded room, giving the video press conference a remarkable atmosphere. “The reason we’re here is because nobody in the room is happy about what’s going on,” said Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of the Colorado Avalanche.
The fact that the NHL, in contrast to the other leagues, had played the day before, was explained by the players with the short-term nature of the developments. Since then, however, you have been able to exchange ideas and make a joint decision.
NBA believes the season will continue soon
Nine football league teams also supported the boycott by canceling their training sessions. The season in the NFL has not started yet. Teams and players from Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and the basketball players of the WNBA also did without their competitions. The protests were triggered by shooting by police officers at the 29-year-old family man Jacob Blake.
He was seriously injured in the US state of Wisconsin on Sunday when the police shot him in the back. A video shows Blake walking to his car, followed by two police officers with guns drawn. One of the weapons is pointed at his back. When Blake opens the driver’s door and leans into the car, shots are fired. According to the family’s attorney, the car had Blake’s children aged three, five, and eight. According to Blake’s father and lawyer, he is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the gunshots.
The protest series began with the boycott of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball players, who did not play for their playoff game against Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Instead, they read out a protest note. Mike Bass, NBA Vice President, believes it will be continued soon: “We hope we can resume the games either this Friday or Saturday.”
At the Masters 1000 tournament of the tennis professionals, which was moved from Cincinnati to New York, Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka initially announced that she would not play in her semifinals. Shortly afterwards, the organizers canceled all four women’s and men’s semi-finals for Thursday and announced a break in play until this Friday. Osaka has meanwhile changed its mind. In a statement, the 22-year-old wrote: “After my announcement on Wednesday and lengthy discussions, I agreed to play on Friday. I was offered to postpone all the games and I think that has already attracted a lot of attention to the movement. “
“The league is like a political organization,” complains Trump
US President Trump directed his criticism primarily at the basketball players who started the boycott: “The league is like a political organization. I don’t think that’s good for the sport or the country. I don’t know much about the protests. But I know that their TV ratings were bad because people are tired of the NBA. ”Marc Short, chief of staff for US Vice President Mike Pence, described the protests on“ CNN’s New Day ”as“ stupid and absurd ”.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser to the President, hardly spoke any conciliatory words either. “I think the NBA players are very fortunate to have the financial position to take a night off without fear of financial consequences for themselves,” said Ivanka Trump, married Kushner on CNBCs “Squawk Box”: “So you have this luxury that is great.”
Kushner also said that, in his view, the NBA “has a lot of activism, they have posted a lot of slogans. But I think we have to turn that from slogans and signals into actual measures that will solve the problem. “
“Politico” said Kushner in a separate interview that he intends to consider Lakers All-Star and activist LeBron James with an invitation to the White House to discuss concrete guidelines. That, however, should be a hopeless undertaking. LeBron James is one of the sharpest critics of Trump’s politics. He’s most likely not going to set foot in the White House while Trump is in power.
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