NBA players decided not to participate in the playoff games scheduled for tonight. They are talking about shutting down the playoffs entirely, but no decision has been made.
The players are responding to the shooting by the Kenosha, Wisconsin police of Jacob Blake. He’s a career criminal and a chronic abuser of women. According to this report from a Wisconsin newspaper, Blake has been charged with rape.
The facts surrounding the shooting of Blake aren’t entirely clear — not to me and not to any NBA player. However, it looks like Blake resisted arrest — wrestling with two police officers, freeing himself, and then attempting to drive away. When the officers failed to intercept or restrain Blake, they shot him.
Like John, I wonder what police officers are supposed to do if, when they try to arrest a suspect pursuant to warrants for, among other things, sexual assault, the suspect resists arrest, wrestles with the officers, and then disregards the officers’ instructions and manifests an intent to drive away from the scene. Should the officers, having made their best effort to detain the suspect without using a gun, just let the guy escape?
This, apparently, is the position of a critical mass of NBA players, to the extent they might actually have thought about the matter. Do they believe it strongly enough to terminate the playoffs? We’ll see. For what it’s worth, I doubt it.
When President Trump said he isn’t watching NBA games any longer, Lebron James, the esteemed social critic who spent his high school winters barnstorming with the basketball team and never attended college, responded “we could care less.” James meant that he and his fellow NBA players couldn’t care less.
I couldn’t care less whether the NBA finishes its playoffs. I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment.