Source: Jose Nino
Last week, President Joe Biden praised the Milwaukee Bucks for taking a firm political stance after the outrage that kicked off following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23, 2020.
At the time of the police encounter, Blake was armed with a knife and did not comply with police orders. He tried to enter a vehicle while his two children were seated in the back, which compelled the police officer to take action.
The Bucks are the first NBA team to visit the White House since 2016.
“That’s the power of a team and not just winning a title,” Biden said to the Bucks, according to a Mediaite report. “Last year as a team, you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, WI. And you’ve gotten people engaged. It really mattered. I remember calling your coach [and praising that].”
While Trump was in office, the NBA did not bother to do outreach with the White House. Arguably the weakest sports league in the country, the NBA has vigorously taken on social justice causes and has challenged politicians like Trump, who they view as “reactionary”, “bigoted”, or “racist”.
Last year, the Bucks made waves in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic by boycotting the game in support of Blake and protesting the police shooting. Other NBA franchises followed the Bucks’ example and set off a series of boycotts league-wide.
Trump criticized the league’s refusal to send teams who won NBA championships and declared that teams were behaving “like a political organization — and that’s not a good thing I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”
Bolstered by superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are the reigning NBA champions and are looking to add a third championship title to their record, after they broke a 50-year championship route in the 2021 playoffs.
However, the Bucks’ start to the 2021-2022 season looks pretty rough so far. The Bucks are currently slumping with a record of 6-8 and an 11th place ranking in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.