While the Seattle Seahawks had their final mock game before the (presumptive) start of the 2020 NFL season, the NBA postseason was abruptly stopped by players in response to the police shooting and subsequent paralysis of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The incident was captured on film, much like the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked international Black Lives Matter protests and rallies.
After some speculation that the season could be in jeopardy, NBA players have since reportedly agreed to resume play as early as Saturday, but their actions on Wednesday created a domino effect that saw postponements of games in Major League Baseball (including the Seattle Mariners-San Diego Padres matchup), Major League Soccer, and the Women’s National Basketball Association. It looks as if the National Hockey League will follow suit for Thursday.
As far as the National Football League, which begins its season exactly two weeks from today, we don’t know what will happen when the games start. The Detroit Lions cancelled practice on Tuesday to protest the Blake shooting, and several other teams have followed suit. When asked about whether the Seahawks or other teams would consider not going onto the field for a game, head coach Pete Carroll ruled nothing out.
“Anything’s possible,” Carroll said at the post-mock game press conference. “I mentioned to the players this is the year — it’s the protest season. It’s the season of protesting. And we’ll handle ourselves as we do. This is a protest that doesn’t have an end to it until all the problems go away. And we solve the issues and stuff. So we’re gonna do our part and continue to work to stay actively involved, and continue to stay in touch with the situations that are going on, by staying on the topics and with it just in hopes that we can be there to help and support where we can and have influence where we can.”
Carroll also praised the actions of the NBA players, the recent heartfelt speech given by Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and revealed that the team’s Tuesday night meeting had special guest Cory Booker, New Jersey’s first African-American senator.
Coincidentally, Wednesday’s NBA strike occurred on the four-year anniversary of Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem first garnering public attention. His protest was in large part against police brutality and racial inequalities and injustice in the United States, and they are very much at the forefront of protests in this country today.