Bucks start boycott ball rolling, so basketballs stop bouncing – hopefully it brings closer an end to racism

Basketball courts will be empty tonight as NBA players led by the Milwaukee Bucks try to bring needed change.

The Milwaukee Bucks feel so passionately about the crimes visited upon blacks and the constant fear in their lives that they have boycotted this afternoon’s Game Five in the playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

Never before in the history of professional sports has a team passed on the opportunity to compete in order to protest racism.  The outcome is of the Bucks demonstration that “enough is enough” is uncertain, as is the extent to which other teams and the NBA will support the Bucks action through their decisions to play or pass on the opportunity to compete in future games.

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I tweeted earlier today that the Bucks should take the forfeit because without it, the game will be made up, and what good does that do?  People leaped to the conclusion that I believe a forfeit should be assessed by the NBA as a punitive measure.  That is 180-degrees from my beliefs.  I’ve engaged several of them, and the result has been a reasonable exchange of ideas.

The time has come to put racism behind us, and the path toward a post-racist society will be bumpy and unpleasant – in particular for those who have never experienced it.  Lives will be disrupted in ways far more serious than the simple inconvenience of the loss of a basketball game – or games being canceled, forfeited, boycotted, or the entire postseason scrubbed.

Our history of racism is a pox on America, and we must correct it.  That means white people looking within our hearts to search for thoughts of intolerance, hatred, and stereotypical assumptions that continue to marginalize and excuse violent acts with no motivation other than racial differences.

I have unending respect for the Bucks players who decided to sit so others can stand.  That people on Twitter believe that I side with those who deride these actions is endemic of those problems we face as a society – they assume facts based upon incomplete evidence.

If the NBA cancelling games tonight causes whites to examine our beliefs, our humanity, and our ability to empathize, it is a more than worthwhile exploit.

If the NBA issues requirements for continuing play to cities and states where franchises exist, I hope they will react by leading us toward the humanity that should already be cemented as part of our cultural identity.

Good for the Bucks.  Good for the NBA.  Good for everyone who sees racism as a vicious cancer in Kenosha, Louisville, Minneapolis, and everywhere else injustice has been excused because of the color of a victim’s skin.

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