HTC Stands in Solidarity with Professional Athletes Striking Against Racial Injustice

Protests against racial injustice have continued since George Floyd's murder in May. Protests by professional athletes in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake have forced the country to pay attention.

August 28, 2020 12:08 PM

On August 26, 2020, players on the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks refused to play in an important playoff game in response to the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The strike garnered national attention and shows the immense power that workers can have when they are united and demand change.

Jacob Blake shot seven times by Kenosha law enforcement

On August 23, Jacob Blake, who was attempting to break up a fight, was shot seven times in the back by law enforcement in front of his children. Blake survived, but sustained life-threatening injuries and is paralyzed as a result of the shooting.

The shooting of Jacob Blake follows the senseless murders of countless unarmed Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, and has sparked an outcry in Kenosha and across the country.

The Milwaukee Bucks strike for racial justice

On Wednesday, August 26, the Milwaukee Bucks players, who are represented by a union, the National Basketball Players Association, launched a wildcat strike in order to bring attention to the shooting, which happened just 40 miles outside of Milwaukee, and demand action on the endemic racism in our country. According to Mother Jones, this was a wildcat strike, as the players withheld their labor despite their contract’s no-strike clause.

Professional athletes join the Bucks on strike

The decision of the Bucks’ players to refuse to play in the August 26 playoff game set off a wave of actions by union-represented players throughout the NBA and other professional sports leagues, including the WNBA, MLB, Major League Soccer, and professional tennis.

All NBA and WNBA games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, with members of several WNBA teams linking arms on the court while wearing t-shirts spelling out the name of Jacob Blake. The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers decided not to take the field in their scheduled Wednesday night game, forcing the game to be cancelled. Naomi Osaka, one of the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis players, initially withdrew from the Western & Southern Open in support of the strike, only agreeing to continue playing after the Women’s Tennis Association postponed the tournament until Friday.

L.A. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers delivers powerful message in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting

On Tuesday, the day before the mass strike action began, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave an impassioned speech about the shooting of Jacob Blake and racial injustice in a post-game conference. In Coach Rivers’ deeply heartfelt and profound remarks, he said, “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones who are denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung, we’ve been shot…it’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back.” We urge everyone to watch Coach Rivers’ remarks below.


Take a stand against racial injustice

HTC stands in solidarity with all professional sports players who are on strike to protest racial injustice. Following the murder of George Floyd earlier this summer we compiled resources for our members who want to learn more and take action against the pervasive racism in our country. You can access those resources here.