Of course, Jordan himself was once a high profiled player who won championships and competed at the highest levels, he now serves on the other side of the table as the only Black majority chairman or as the NBA calls them, governors, in the league.
Jordan serving as the middle man in this situation stems from the Milwaukee Bucks decision to boycott (strike is the more proper term) their fifth playoff game on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. Following the Bucks announcement that they would be striking, the other two games slated to take place that night, the Rockets and Thunder and Lakers and Blazers both decided they would not play their games that night either.
The six-time champion reportedly reached out to NBAPA president Chris Paul before Thursday’s meeting between players and owners to get a feel for what the goal was after canceling the games. He also spoke to Rockets star Russell Westbrook about the issues that had led some players to want to cancel the rest of the season.
A league official told Jackie MacMullan of ESPN that he “is the perfect person to be in this role, he’s been a high-profile player who has won championships. He’s also the owner of a small-market team. He has great credibility both with the players and the owners.”
“Right now, listening is better than talking,” Jordan told the group, sources said.
The boycott began after Kenosha cops shot Jacob Blake in the back while he attempted to get into his car. It occurred in the Bucks hometown of Wisconsin, so the team felt a sense of social responsibility.
Suddenly, the NBA was scrambling to save the bubble season. In an effort to do so, the league voluntarily canceled the games on Thursday to tend to the players’ needs, while also allowing them to air their grievances and come to a conclusion on what steps they need taken to resume the season.
Ultimate, the players, decided they would resume the season, although specifics on actionable change necessary is not clear at this point. As of right now, the league has not made a decision on the games set to be played on Friday.
Protest, boycotts, strikes, or whichever you may prefer to call them have taken place in other leagues as well. The MLB and NHL both postponed some games yesterday, with the New York Mets taking the field for 42 seconds of silence (the number Jackie Robinson wore) before departing the field.
The league has committed over $300 million throughout the next 10 years to the advancement of social justice along with giving players the liberty to express their concerns and beliefs in the way they want via messages on the back of their jersey, and even allowing them to kneel during the national anthem; yet and still the players are applying pressure that tangible and immediate change be implemented as soon as possible.
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