Hollywood & Media Figures React To Sports Teams’ Boycotts: “This Is Courage”

Refresh for updates: Influential voices ranging from Hollywood stars to politicians flocked to Twitter to share their support for the Milwaukee Bucks, who opted out of Wednesday’s NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic in response to the Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting of Jacob Blake.

Kenosha police officers shot Blake multiple times in the back on Sunday. Footage of the encounter has since gone viral and sparked several protests in multiple states including California.

The NBA, following the Bucks’ walking off the court, announced Wednesday afternoon that it will postpone all of tonight’s playoff games. Major League Baseball has later followed suit, postponing the Milwaukee Brewers-Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners-San Diego Padres games.

Figures from all sorts of industries, from entertainment to sports, responded to the. Milwaukee team’s demonstration. Some  called the NBA’s decision to postpone the games “a pivot point for the NBA and professional sports in North America” and others lauded the professional basketball players for their courage.

Emmy-nominated Watchmen and Candyman actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also touted support for the athletes upon hearing the news. “We should protect these young men from the inevitable backlash/scrutiny they are (about) to receive,” he wrote.

“This is courage. Stay Strong,” the actor said to the athletes striking the NBA playoff games.

Matthew Cherry, director of Oscar-winning Hair Love, tweeted that he’s proud of the Milwaukee team for striking the playoff game in protest of police brutality.

“Some things are bigger than sports,” the NFL star-turned director tweeted.

Milwaukee Bucks SVP Alex Lasry explained the team members’ decision, noting that “the stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up.”

The Bucks exec went on to support his team, saying that he not only completely backs the Bucks players, but also encourages for more change against police brutality and systemic racism to happen.

Among those also tweeting their support for the NBA Playoffs strike were Andrew Yang, singer Halsey, Roxane Gay, football star Kenny Stills, Levar Burton and Wendell Pierce.

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