The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Athletes Strike in Solidarity

Sep 14, 2020

After the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, basketball players from the NBA team in nearby Milwaukee walked off the court in protest before a playoff game. What happened next was something never seen before in American sports.

Players from all the other NBA teams joined the protest and refused to play and the NBA had to cancel playoff games for the next few days. Women basketball players from the WNBA also protested and stopped playing.

Other athletes joined the protests against police brutality and racism. Football players from at least nine NFL teams walked out of practice or refused to practice. Baseball players from a number of Major League teams refused to play their next game. Baseball players from the New York Mets and Miami Marlins stood for a moment of silence, left a "Black Lives Matter" shirt on home plate, and then walked off the field together. The National Hockey League cancelled games. Players from professional tennis and Major League Soccer (MLS) joined the protest and all MLS games were cancelled.

Without the players, professional sports in this country came to a halt for a couple of days.

A lesson in solidarity.