The sports world has come to an almost complete stop. Several teams and leagues, among them the NBA and MLB, have cancelled or postponed games in the wake of widespread protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake last Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The strike began when Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor on Wednesday in their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA then announced that all three games scheduled would be postponed and rescheduled.
The unprecedented strike was led, in part, by Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who had his own violent encounter with police two years ago. Body cam footage shows him being thrown to the ground, tased and arrested over an alleged parking violation. He was never charged and is currently suing the police for excessive force.
Only 45 minutes from where Brown's incident took place, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back. Now, Brown is leading the charge.
“Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball," Brown read from a prepared statement to the media alongside his teammates.
The boycott triggered a cascade of walkouts — even among the TV sportscasters.
"I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight," said "Inside the NBA" analyst Kenny Smith.
Players with the Washington Mystics wore t-shirts made to look as if they were riddled with bullet holes.
The WNBA also postponed its scheduled games, along with other sports, including Major League Baseball, soccer and even tennis. Naomi Osaka dropped out of a semifinal match set for Thursday in New York City. It's unclear if the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to start next week, will be affected.
"As a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis," Osaka said.
Former President Barack Obama praised the walkouts.
"I commend the players...for standing up for what they believe in," he said