Flint former pro athletes give praise to NBA and other sports leagues game boycotts

Mateen Cleaves and Linnell Jones-McKenney speak out about systematic racism
Mateen Cleaves and Linnell Jones-McKenney speak out about systematic racism
Mateen Cleaves and Linnell Jones-McKenney speak out about systematic racism(WJRT/ABC12)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 12:46 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) (8/27/2020) - NBA players are letting voices be heard without picking up a ball.

For the second straight day they are boycotting playoff games, which caused a ripple effect throughout the sports world as MLB players walked out of games last night and boycotted games today, and the NHL has postponed their playoffs games until Saturday.

All in protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot 7 times in the back by a Kenosha police officer.

Michiganders of the NBA community were proud of the NBA players in the bubble; Saginaw’s Draymond Green voiced his appreciation via Twitter along with flintstone Miles Bridges.

It’s been reported, NBA players and the league decided to resume the playoffs this weekend, but their impact has already been felt.

“I do applaud the NBA and everyone else that’s involved with that decision to take a step back because sports ain’t important at that time,” said former NBA and MSU guard Mateen Cleaves. “Basketball means absolutely nothing we seeing black men being murdered all over America and somebody has to do something.”

It’s not just the male sports league trying to stir the pot and start conversations of systematic racism.

The WNBA for years has been doing unified protesting, yesterday they had a powerful message with teams spelling out Jacob Blakes name with t-shirts and that had 7 bullet holes on the back of them.

“A lot of times the male dominance in sports women aren’t being heard but it’s imperative that the women step up and say ’No we’re not tolerating this anymore,” said Linnell Jones-Mckinney. “But it’s important for the women they have a voice, we have a voice, and we must speak out!”

Jones-McKenney believes the pro athletes protesting is bigger than basketball because they’re influencing the next generation.

“If we can’t leave a legacy, what is the point of us even doing what we’re doing? Why should I play basketball all my life and then life stops there?” she said. “We have to rebuild and give our children an opportunity to dream that’s what’s important.”

That’s what these pro athletes believe their doing by not playing.

Now it’s on us the citizens, what can I do to help?

Are you registered to vote?

Are you educating yourself?

What are you doing to be a community leader?

Just food for thought.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.