The Milwaukee Bucks sent a special gift to Jacob Blake this week.
According to Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., the Bucks sent his son a jersey signed by the whole team.
“The thing that made him smile was the Milwaukee Bucks,” Blake Sr. said during an interview on Friday.
“That made him smile. I’m from Chicago, but now I am truly a Milwaukee Bucks fan because they reached out to my son, sent him a jersey that was signed by the whole organization.”
Blake, 29, was shot and paralyzed by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following an altercation.
The incident sparked backlash across the nation, with many pointing to it as an example of the police brutality and racial injustice black men face in the United States.
On Wednesday, the Bucks opted not to take the court for their Game 5 showdown against the Orlando Magic. That spontaneous decision led to two other Game 5s scheduled for the same day — the Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers — getting postponed as well.
Blake’s father, for his part, appreciated the sacrifice that the Bucks made for his son.
“I understand the sacrifices those young men made, and I understand that it’s playoff time and they’re making these sacrifices.”
Ultimately, all outings were delayed until this weekend, as NBA players gathered together to work on a social justice reform plan. That plan was unveiled on Friday.
In a joint statement released by the NBA and the NBPA, all parties involved addressed what steps would be taken from here on out to promote social awareness in the community.
Chris Paul stepped up and got his entire team registered to vote. The rest of the NBA has yet to follow suit. https://t.co/h6Rwh8yu53
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 28, 2020
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” the statement read.
“Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments.
“The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform,” the statement continued.
“In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID.
“If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.”
The new deal also extends to TV partners and potential advertising.
“The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity,” the statement mentioned.
Fittingly, the NBA will restart its playoffs on Saturday with the game that launched everything into motion on Wednesday: Game 5 between the Bucks and Magic.