If you don’t see sports and politics as a parallel, I suggest you move on to the next article.

Today marks an unprecedented time in the history of sports. The NBA bubble has served as an oasis of normalcy and unity but today it will be done without the game of basketball. The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5 versus the Orlando Magic in wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

It had been rumored all day that the players were considering a boycott in light of the news. Right before tip-off the Bucks and Magic game they walked to their respective locker rooms and set the sport’s world on fire.

Although the bubble was meant to save the league financially, the primary initiative was to force the conversation on social issues and use their platform to catapult the daily systemic racism that affects the lives of those on and off the court. With decisions being made by the other teams to stand in solidarity with the Bucks (Rockets, Thunder, Blazers, and Lakers) the NBA officially opted to postpone all games at around 4:10 p.m.

The Raptors and Celtics are also considering boycotting their game tomorrow according to various sources. The league has invited all NBA players to a meeting at 8 p.m. to develop a course of action to precipitate systemic change and results from the boycotts.

On this day four years ago, Collin Kaepernick took a knee to illuminate the injustices and inequalities minorities face regarding interactions with law enforcement. He was shunned by the media, slandered by the president and blacked balled from the game he gave his all too just for us to be in the same predicament as a country.

Unfortunately, it took a knee on George Floyd’s neck for Roger Goodell and the NFL to see what Kaepernick was trying to shed a light on and take an initiative to see what life is like for their predominately black league once the game is done.

When you don’t resist, you can end up like Elijah McClain.

When you’re at home, you can end up like Breonna Taylor.

And if you do walk away, you can end up like Jacob Blake.

As sports fans in the Crimson Tide community, I ask that we see our athletes as more than athletes and acknowledge their life beyond the games that bring us so much entertainment. They’re just like me and you – sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and friends who deserve the right to be seen and treated as humans regardless of race.

As a black man, there’s no difference between me, Najee Harris, Devonta Smith, Dylan Moses or Patrick Surtain or any of your favorite players past or present. Because after they take the pads off, we all must live in a society that wasn’t made for us, and to this day doesn’t recognize the value of our lives.

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