Statement by the players of the Milwaukee Bucks

When the NBA Players Association voted to resume play, one of the reasons was to give its players a greater voice on social justice issues. Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks exercised that voice by electing not to play in their scheduled game, triggering a cascade that resulted in the cancellation of all scheduled NBA and WNBA games, as well as many MLB games and other sporting events.

However, amidst all the headlines, one of the things that most news outlets failed to do was to present the full statement that the Milwaukee Bucks players composed and that Sterling Brown and George Hill read after their game was officially cancelled. I believe that it is important that the people have the chance to read and understand both the sentiment and desired results of this NBA walkout. I pulled this text from the end of this ESPN article.

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The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.

Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protesters. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.

When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.

We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.

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