ORLANDO, FL – 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.
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.