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Toronto Raptors Discuss Boycotting 1st Playoff Game to Protest Jacob Blake Shooting

Toronto Raptors Discuss Boycotting 1st Playoff Game to Protest Jacob Blake Shooting

Toronto Raptors guard Matt Thomas (21) celebrates with forward Stanley Johnson (5) his three-point basket scored against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 August 2020 08:38 PM

The Toronto Raptors have discussed sitting out the first game of their playoff series to protest the police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Wisconsin, according to ESPN.

The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are scheduled to play in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting Thursday. 

Jacob Blake was shot Sunday in Kenosha, Wisc., by a white police officer. A video of the incident appears to show the officer grab Blake by the back of his shirt as he tried to get into a small SUV, then shoot him seven times at point-blank range. 

A “domestic incident” is all the Kenosha department is willing to say about it.

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said that players wanted to pressure people in positions of power to respond to Blake's shooting by making a change in the system. Blake is currently in stable condition after undergoing surgery, but is paralyzed from the waist down. The incident is the latest in a string of Black Americans who have been shot in the U.S. following police involvement.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks died in recent months at the hands of white police officers.

"We knew coming here or not coming here wasn't going to stop anything, but I think, ultimately, playing or not playing, it puts pressure on somebody," VanVleet said.

VanVleet added, "So, for example, this happened in Kenosha, Wis., if I'm correct? You know, would it be nice if in a perfect world we all say we're not playing, and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, you know, that's going to trickle down if he steps up to the plate and puts pressure on the district attorney's office and state's attorneys and governors and politicians there to make real change and get some justice."

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The Toronto Raptors have discussed sitting out the first game of their playoff series to protest the police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Wisconsin, according to ESPN.
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2020-38-25
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 08:38 PM
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