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NBA walkout sparks historic US sport boycott over police shooting

first_img“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 protestors,” the Bucks players said in a statement explaining their boycott.”Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”The Bucks’ no-show prompted the NBA to scrap two other games scheduled for Wednesday: Houston’s clash with Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.At an emergency meeting of NBA teams in Florida late Wednesday, the crisis threatened to put the entire season in jeopardy, with LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both voting to abandon the season. All other teams voted to continue. Topics : It was not immediately clear whether the Lakers and Clippers would continue the season as scheduled. A walkout by two of the NBA’s strongest teams and title contenders — as well as its biggest star — would deal a devastating blow to the credibility of the season. The NBA’s Board of Governors is meeting on Thursday to address player concerns. Dramatic escalation The NBA postponements marked a dramatic escalation in the league’s calls for social justice, which have reverberated across the sport in the months since the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May.Lakers superstar James voiced solidarity with the Bucks decision in a tweet shortly after the boycott was announced. “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James wrote.The NBA’s players union also backed the protest. “The players have, once again, made it clear — they will not be silent on this issue,” National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a statement.Renewed anger had swept the NBA after Sunday’s shooting of Blake.The 29-year-old was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, which contained his three children.Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday. Boycotts spread The boycotts spread to other sports, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds becoming one of several Major League Baseball games to be postponed.In tennis, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka abruptly announced her withdrawal from the WTA Western & Southern Open semi-finals, where she was due to play on Thursday.”As a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” Osaka said.In a statement released late Wednesday, ATP/WTA organizers said all play scheduled for Thursday had been postponed in recognition of the fight against racial inequality.Elsewhere, the Women’s NBA postponed its scheduled fixtures for Wednesday, while Major League Soccer also called off five of six games. ‘Horrifying, maddening’ The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando against the backdrop of nationwide protests following Floyd’s death.NBA teams have knelt in protest during the pre-match playing of the US national anthem, while the words “Black Lives Matter” have been painted onto each court staging games in Florida.Players, many of whom took part in protests against Floyd’s killing, have been allowed to wear jerseys bearing social justice messages.The first hints of boycotts over Blake’s shooting came from Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who revealed that his players had discussed refusing to play their game with Boston on Thursday.Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens described Blake’s shooting as “horrifying.””Our thoughts are with Jacob Blake and his family and obviously that video was horrifying, awful,” Stevens said. “To think of three kids being in that car, it’s ridiculous.”These are hard times. With the pandemic going on, with this constant wave of inequality — it’s maddening.”The Los Angeles Clippers African-American coach Doc Rivers contrasted the latest shooting with the apocalyptic rhetoric at this week’s Republican Party convention.”All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said in remarks on Tuesday.”We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities.”We’ve been hung, we’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.” The Milwaukee Bucks led a historic sporting boycott Wednesday over the US police shooting of a black man, forcing the NBA to halt its playoff schedule and prompting a wave of walkouts across multiple sports.The NBA postponed its entire slate of Wednesday fixtures after the Bucks refused to play game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.Blake was seriously injured after being shot point blank in the back seven times by police officers in a confrontation captured on video.last_img read more

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FG directives on COVID-19 alters NFF investigative panel’s work plan

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules FG sensitises stakeholders on safe school reopening template The directives of the Federal Government on the raging coronavirus outbreak has altered the work plan of the investigative panel set up by the Nigeria Football Federation on the death of Nasarawa United FC player, Chineme Martins. The panel was expected to submit its final report on March 26, 2020 to the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, in Abuja. However, following the current trend of events arising from the COVID-19 scourge, the panel has temporarily suspended its activities, including submission of its final report. This change in work plan has also been approved by the NFF leadership. The Chairman of the committee, Dr. Peter Singabele, said: “Since the inauguration of this committee in Benin City on Monday, 16th March, members have been at work. “We have inspected facilities in Benin City and Lafia, and spoken to personalities who were involved one way or the other in the organization of the match in which the player died. “We have been able to extract useful information all round. “Our plan was to submit the report to the Hon. Minister on Thursday, 26th March 2020. “We returned from Lafia on Tuesday morning, but have had to change our plans because of the trend of events and the pronouncement by His Excellency Mr. President himself, as well as other directives by the Federal Government. “We are forced to suspend our activities.” Singabele added that if the committee had a challenge in its job, it was the risk that members took to interact with people at this trying period in Nigeria. He said: “I won’t say strictly that there were challenges. “If there was a challenge, it was that we took a big risk moving around at this time. “We were bound to hold meetings and meet people and we could not tell who was infected at any time. “We just have to observe preventive measures by returning to our homes and continuing to work from there.” The panel also assured members of the football family its findings and recommendations would be submitted as soon as the current health challenge is under control.Tags: Chineme MartinsCOVID-19Federal GovernmentNasarawa United FCNFFlast_img read more