Yes, Black Lives Matter is societal poison. How could it be otherwise, dreamt up by self-described “trained Marxists” and based on crackpot academic theories bolstered by garbage statistics? And TV ratings give up empirical evidence BLM and all its public trappings are kryptonite for the business of sports.
How about the actual games themselves? Jason Whitlock at Oukick thinks the politics are subtracting from the excellence of the contests -- at least in the case of the Milwaukee Bucks.
As of Friday, “The NBA’s best regular season squad” was down 0-2 in a best-of-five series against the number five-seeded Miami Heat. If it weren’t for a couple of bad officiating calls in Game 2, Whitlock said in a video accompanying his Friday column, “everybody would be talking about ‘Are the Bucks distracted? Do the Bucks have a Black Lives Matter Hangover from canceling NBA playoff games and basically canceling sports?’”
Sure seems like they do. According to Whitlock, “The Bucks dug this hole the moment they diverted their attention away from basketball to fight for the life of a criminal suspect who doesn’t care all that much about his own life.”
The criminal suspect would be Jacob Blake, the black man shot in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police. Last week, when news of the shooting broke, the Bucks were about to take the court against the Orlando Magic. Without knowing much at all about the incident, Milwaukee immediately decided not to play in protest of the shooting. As Whitlock said, “Twenty seconds of an edited cell phone video provoked the Bucks to shut down the NBA Bubble and other parts of the sports world.”
It turned out that Blake had a knife, had scuffled with officers (who were responding to a 911 call from his girlfriend), was refusing to comply with police commands, and was wanted for sexual assault.
Now, Whitlock wrote:
The Bucks are suffering from Post Traumatic Black Lives Matter Disorder. It’s the mental lapse that happens when a professional athlete realizes he’s allowed Twitter race-hustlers to dupe him into caring more about the life of a criminal suspect than the criminal suspect cares about his own life.
So “The Bucks are mentally lethargic because they’ve spent the past four or five days coming to grips with the immaturity, recklessness and futility of their response to events in Kenosha. In the meantime, the “well-intentioned publicity stunt” that was the shutdown, “accomplished nothing. Skipping work rarely does.”
What it did do was create a “domino” effect within the league and the rest of professional sports. In the video Whitlock said the NBA had meetings in which not everyone appreciated the Bucks’ decision, and voiced concerns about, in his characterization:
You dragged us into something that we haven’t thought through and don’t have, you know, that strong opinions on. Yes, we’re all addicted to Twitter and social media and we’ve all bought the Black Lives Matter B.S., but damn, you just shut our league down and now we’re forced to sit out games and we’re forced to answer questions and take a very strong opinion on Jacob Blake before all the information is available.
In his column, Whitlock observed that social media’s “algorithms, Russian bots and blue-check, bubble-approved sports journalists protect the influencers promoting BLM Derangement,” and there’s little accountability. “It’s unlikely anyone will ask the Bucks if their Blake stunt shook their focus,” he predicted. “And if the question is asked, they’ll be allowed to pretend it was all worth it.”
And if they can’t come back, the Bucks will be comforted by lefty platitudes about “conversation,” “awareness” and “empathy.” The Heat will be comforted by getting to play more championship basketball and maybe even the NBA title.