Wesley Matthews, wing of Milwaukee Bucks, said the team was not “apologetic” for boycotting game 5 of its first round against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He said it was a decision the team made organically.
“I feel like we did what any team would have done in this situation. And we do not apologize for what we did, what we think was right,”
“You can’t make script changes. You can’t create script moments,” he added. “And we saw an opportunity to be with our brother, to show that we are human, to show that this is visible and emotionally and physically effective, even though we are here in the bubble that in some retrospect Disconnected from the outside world, it still hits and it’s still a problem and a call to the legislature to help. “
Matthews said the team contacted Blake’s family.
The boycott of the bucks sparked several other sporting leagues to protest games before the game resumed. Their main purpose was not only to protest the shooting of Blake, but also to promote voter awareness, social justice, racial equality and police reform in America. Matthews said it wasn’t planned ahead of time as they “showed humanity” and didn’t anticipate the reaction as they prepared to lose the game and lose 3-2 on the series.
“We didn’t think this would happen, but we are grateful for the fact that at this moment, in this pause, in this shift, everyone could think again and realize that everyone has to do something.” Said Matthews.
Coach Mike Budenholzer also called the process “organic” and said it was being led by the likes of assistant coaches Darvin Ham, George Hill and Sterling Brown, who were themselves victims of police brutality when police cursed him in January 2018. The act was the culmination of several events.
“The idea of losing 3-2 and making that sacrifice or giving up what we thought was more important and bigger than a basketball game, a playoff game,” said Budenholzer. “A situation where we could be 3-2, I think the room, I don’t think anyone understood exactly what was going to happen, but I knew it was possible and big and there was no hesitation about 3 -2 go down. “
Although Jaylen Brown is a member of the Boston Celtics – a rival to the Bucks’ Eastern Conference – he said he respected their decision, as did many across the league.
“We came here to use our platform and that is exactly what Milwaukee did. And we all saw its effects, we all saw the awareness that was being raised,” Brown said on Saturday. “To be honest, I think in hindsight we’ll appreciate what Milwaukee has done. There are a lot of people who have come here for reasons other than basketball and to use our platforms; and Milwaukee did just that. And when necessary I hope it doesn’t, but using our platform is what a lot of people came here for. “