NBA staff to walk out in solidarity with players - report

About 100 NBA staff members are walking off the job on Friday to support the social justice efforts of NBA and WNBA players.

Referees stand on an empty court before the start of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, August 26, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.   -  AP

About 100 NBA staff members are walking off the job on Friday to support the social justice efforts of NBA and WNBA players, ESPN reported.

The staff members are based in New York and New Jersey.

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Their action follows that of Milwaukee Bucks, which boycotted its playoff game against Orlando Magic on Wednesday night in protest of the shooting of a 29-year-old Black man last weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a uniformed police officer in the city, which is about 40 miles from Milwaukee.

‘Fears of losing revenue and advertisers should not numb us to the cries of Black men, women and children that continue to be oppressed in the same communities in which we play.’

“We believe the NBA, its leadership, and the Board of Governors unequivocally have the leverage to do more to directly address and combat police brutality and systemic racism in this country,” the staff wrote in a letter to commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, obtained by ESPN.

“We acknowledge and credit all the work the NBA has already done,” the letter continued. “But we have the power to have a greater impact. The NBA has not done enough proactively, and rather has relied too heavily on our players. ... We understand that we are a business, but fears of losing revenue and advertisers should not numb us to the cries of Black men, women and children that continue to be oppressed in the same communities in which we play.”

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The employees intend to spend part of the day in a virtual meeting, coming up with ideas of actions the league could take and present them to the NBA next week, ESPN said.

The NBA and WNBA paused play following the Bucks’ boycott.

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