Led by the Milwaukee Bucks and 2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo, players from the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers refused to play during their Game 5s of the playoff.
The league announced on Wednesday (August 26) the games would be postponed indefinitely. The WNBA, who are inside their own bubble at the IMG Academy, also postponed all their scheduled games. In turn, the news sent shockwaves throughout the Hip Hop community.
Snoop Dogg reposted Lakers star LeBron James’ outraged tweet, “FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT” while Chance The Rapper reiterated he feels police departments nationwide should be defunded. Diddy praised the unified effort.
Other Hip Hop artists such as Plies, Bas and Cardo also chimed in with politically charged commentary.
For his part, NBA On TNT commentator Kenny Smith walked off the set during the live broadcast in solidarity with the players.
Kenny Smith walks off Inside the NBA set pic.twitter.com/XkdyGpEp9S
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) August 26, 2020
On Tuesday (August 25), Kenosha, Wisconsin police were recorded shooting 24-year-old resident Jacob Blake seven times in the back. The family called the incident “a senseless attempted murder” as they reported he’s paralyzed as a result of his injuries. Federal investigators have launched a civil rights probe. Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen took note of how a few current and past Bucks players have been victims of police brutality themselves.
Check out some more Hip Hop reactions over the NBA and WNBA’s stance.
Abolish the Police
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 26, 2020
The power of unity! This is dope to see https://t.co/R40QHpyAWG
— Diddy (@Diddy) August 26, 2020
Colin Kaepernick & WNBA; Thank you for your voice and leading the movement in sports!
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) August 27, 2020
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
Double Salute 2 The NBA Players!!!!
— Plies (@plies) August 26, 2020
— nathangiusti (@nathangiiusti) August 26, 2020
I Hope The NFL & College Players Etc Are Gettin On The Phone Right Now With Each Other!!! #JacobBlake
— Plies (@plies) August 26, 2020
Y’all had the nerve to tell these dudes to “shut up and dribble”.
— Bas (@Bas) August 26, 2020
Shout out to to all those young gentlemen in the nba … stand tall young men y’all have the power and salute to the grand move !!
— phantom. (@therealstylesp) August 27, 2020
I’ll never ever ever forget the way Kyrie was demonized for saying the things everybody is saying now.
— Boogie Bousins (@bansky) August 26, 2020
AUG 26, 2016 – @Kaepernick7 kneels during the National anthem to highlight Police Brutality & Abuse of Power.
AUG 26, 2020 – ALL @NBA Playoff teams refuse to play Basketball in Boycott of the attempted murder of #JacobBlake by Police.
— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) August 26, 2020
I wish football players *call dropped*
— Extension of Nia Long (@ScottieBeam) August 26, 2020
A 17 year old white kid spins the block … then walks right past the police without being touched. Man. What we calling this shit again? Cuz man.. if the roles were reversed, I’m pretty sure the outcome would’ve been far more brutal.
— . (@CardoGotWings) August 26, 2020
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
SO proud of the NBA players. pic.twitter.com/k62nNzBOUO
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 26, 2020
I love #NBA games but our LIVES matter MORE I #SaluteThePlayers
— Zaytoven (@zaytovenbeatz) August 26, 2020
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These player-initiated NBA game cancellations are just a part of the reason why i love that league.
— Dee-1 (@Dee1music) August 26, 2020