In response to the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bucks held a Wildcat Strike, refusing to play their game against the Orlando Magic. The league soon fell in line and the league played no playoff games from Wednesday through Friday.
Conservatives were quick to point out the strike as pointless. Jared Kushner mocked the players, saying they were lucky to be able to afford to take a day off. But the results of their political statement are already apparent. NBA owners have agreed that all the leagues stadiums will be made into polling places this November.
The LA Times’ Matt Pearce tweeted, “Why strike, a lot of people asked? The players have used their leverage with the owners to turn the NBA into a get-out-the-vote organization, aiming to use stadiums as polling places, among other things.
Why strike, a lot of people asked? The players have used their leverage with the owners to turn the NBA into a get-out-the-vote organization, aiming to use stadiums as polling places, among other things. https://t.co/gnWHKU61n5
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) August 28, 2020
Players Association Director Michelle Roberts and League Commissioner Adam Silver announced the move on Friday. They said in a joint statement, “These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community.”
Citizens in many states encounter long lines and overtaxed staff while going to vote. The league hopes that the stadium polling places will make it easier and more convenient for people to vote. The sheer size of the stadiums will also allow for social distancing.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.