Former President Barack Obama congratulated NBA players with the Milwaukee Bucks for boycotting their game on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2020, to protest the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake, who is Black, was shot multiple times during an encounter with several White officers on Sunday, Aug. 23. The shooting has sparked waves of public demonstrations and protests.
Players with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic decided to forgo their playoff game to take a stand regarding the Kenosha cops who shot Blake and the pattern of police violence against unarmed Black males around the country.
According to ESPN, the other two games scheduled for Wednesday also were canceled. Teams from other leagues, including the WNBA, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball, joined the NBA in sitting out their games on Wednesday.
“I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in,” Obama, 59, wrote in a Twitter post that thus far has been liked more than 267,000 times.
I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2020
Blake reportedly was responding to a domestic altercation when cops rolled up on the scene in Kenosha, about 40 miles south of Milwaukee. Cellphone video shows Blake walking away from officers, who had their guns drawn and pointed at him. When Blake opened the driver’s side door to his vehicle, one of the officers grabbed Blake’s shirt and shot him several times in the back.
Blake, a father of three boys, is hospitalized and said to be paralyzed from the waist down, his father, also named Jacob Blake, said, according to CNN.