PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready has praised NBA, MLB and other professional athletes for boycotting sports in protest of the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The protests came on the heels of Sunday night's shooting of Blake, a black man, who was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha Police Department officer. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down.
Earlier today (Thursday, August 27), PEARL JAM released the following statement from McCready via social media: "Thank you NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS for using your platform to protest and stand for equality in this country.
"We have to be continuous allies because we are up against 400 years of systemic oppression written into the laws of this country — laws that made it impossible to protest, vote, send kids to better schools, access hospitals, choose where to live, and even around marketing alcohol.
"Systemic racism goes deep and is embedded in our laws. In the neighborhood where I grew up, they had sundown laws. A local real estate company used to write in the legal deeds of houses that the 'property shall not be resold, leased, rented, or occupied except to or by persons of the Aryan race...' This stuff existed all around us but many of us are still blind to the extent of it and its impact. Only now is America finally waking up.
"As Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.' I have to believe in the inherent value of protesting as part of the fabric of America. Everyone has to use the resources available to them to bring about equality. #JacobBlake"
The NBA postponed Thursday's playoff games. For the second straight night, three MLB games were also postponed. The NHL announced that four games scheduled for Thursday and Friday had been called off as well.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump was asked about several NBA teams opting not to play Wednesday night in protest of police violence against black Americans.
"I don't know much about the NBA protest," he said. "I know their ratings have been very bad because I think a lot of people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly. But I don't know too much about the protest, but I know their ratings have been very bad, and that's unfortunate. They have become like a political organization, and that's not a good thing. That's not a good thing for sports or the country."
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 27, 2020
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