On Wednesday night the NBA led the charge to boycott playoff games in response to police shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis.
First, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to come out of their locker room for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic in protest then two more playoff games were subsequently cancelled.
The league’s bold move received praise and support from everyone to former President Barack Obama to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Still, perhaps, the greatest impact was felt at the high school level where the general consensus among elite players was that seeing NBA stars taking a stand against systemic racism and police brutality was inspiring.
We caught up with a handful of elite players around the country and had them share their thoughts on the NBA’s boycott.
Skyy Clark, Brentwood (Tenn.), CG, 2021
"I understand where they're coming from! They don't wanna take away from the injustices that have been taking place, which I respect. Not everyone understands it, but they're not in those players' shoes."
Harrison Ingram, St. Mark’s (Dallas), SG, 2021
“I respect the move because there are unnecessary lives being lost because of the racism that has existed in our country from the beginning. The players not playing shows unity and that we are all in the fight together. Black Lives Matter is a real thing not just a hashtag.”
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Scotland (Scotland, Penn.), F, 2022
"I think it all shows great courage. What is going on right now in the world is bigger than basketball and we as a black community need help and unity.”
Michael Foster, Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.), F, 2021
“I loved to see the elite guys in the league stepping up and leading this and them showing their power, but I just want the message to be clear that we need police reform. The protests have to be about reform. I want this to change. It’s ridiculous. We were just talking about police brutality with George Floyd and here we are right back with the same issue. We need reform. The owners need to be speaking too. We need change. I love what the NBA is doing, I think it’s the greatest league in the world; I just want the message to be clear: New laws and reform.”
Elijah Fisher, Crestwood Prep (Can.), CG, 2023
“I was proud to see the guys in the NBA stepping up and telling the world that we’re not standing for this. We want change now. It made me want to be a part of the league even more. Basketball is just a game, but we want change for what we’re going through as black people.”
Scoot Henderson, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), PG, 2022
"I think it was a good idea! Sports is the one thing that brings us all together, but if we can't get the same respect as others then we probably shouldn't be playing in the first place. We are not for entertainment purposes only!"
Jalen Warley, Westtown (Norristown, Penn.), CG, 2021
“What happened last night was really powerful. It was unified, peaceful and exactly what needed to happen to open people’s eyes. I support it; everything the players have done to this point, even the ones that have opted out of the bubble, because all of this is way bigger than any sport.”
Robert Dillingham, Combine Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) PG, 2023
"I respect the NBA players' decisions to cancel the game because it's time. We've had enough in our country and this could impact the situation critically."