Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was one of the many basketball figures to show support for the Milwaukee Bucks following the team’s decision to boycott Game 5 of their NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic Wednesday night. The Terps coach specifically mentioned Bucks all-star wing Khris Middleton, who he coached at Texas A&M, in his tweet calling for change.
“I support Khris Middleton and the Bucks in their decision today,” Turgeon tweeted. “Life is bigger than basketball. We must change.”
The Bucks’ boycott followed nights of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a town 40 miles south of Milwaukee, where a black man, James Blake, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer.
Middleton and Turgeon have both been active in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement since George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota in May. Middleton tweeted out a statement denouncing police brutality in June, while Turgeon released a similar statement around the same time and then took things a step further by posting a video addressing systemic racism a month later.
“We have the right movement going in the right direction, but this can’t stop,” Turgeon said. “I used to be proud to say I was a non-racist. That’s not enough anymore. It’s about being an anti-racist.”
Turgeon’s video impressed Maryland pledge James Graham III, a Milwaukee native who committed to the Terps last week. Graham, who Turgeon has compared to Middleton, commented on his future coach’s pro-Bucks tweet on Wednesday as well.
“My coach gets it,” he wrote.
Turgeon also read and discussed "Why We Can't Wait" by Martin Luther King Jr. with his current players.