The end of the season is under threat.
The political agenda has again become the main topic of most sports news in America and, judging by the abundance and diversity of information, this road leads straight to pitch hell. The root cause was the persona of Jacob Blake, a black citizen who, according to one version, tried to break up a fight between two women, for which he received seven shots from the police who arrived at the scene of the conflict and is now in a hospital in serious condition. It was in Wisconsin, one of America’s most puritanical states, which only exacerbated an already tense African American community, boiling over with resentment about class racism. This time it did not flare up suddenly, let’s say, spontaneously. Before the 5th match of the Magic-Bucks series, players from Milwaukee, the club in the largest city in Wisconsin, refused to go to the match in protest against police actions. Later, defender George Hill admitted that he was the first to voice the idea. Milwaukee’s initiative was supported by Orlando and other teams, whose players then met at a general meeting. And from that moment on, in relation to the logic of everything that happens, Schrodinger’s rule begins to operate.
At the gathering, basketball players voted for a full-fledged boycott until the end of the season, and only representatives of the Clippers (the club with the richest owner Steve Ballmer) and the Lakers (the club with the most influential NBA player, whose name may not be named) voted in favor. The rest somehow hesitated and agreed that the season could somehow be completed to the end. Hit veteran Yudonis Haslem asked quite a reasonable question: how can we finish the season without the Clippers and Lakers, after which LeBron demonstratively left the meeting, and after him the basketball players of both Los Angeles clubs. Here’s a charcoal art sketch. Today the players will meet again, so with a high degree of probability we will not see playoff matches again. In the long run, things look even darker.
Here it is necessary to put a note in the margins and take into account that the other day the meeting on revising the collective agreement between the players’ union and the league leadership was postponed to October 15. Therefore, it is possible that the players, realizing the reluctance of the management to make some concessions, simply used the current situation to start the lockout early, or to hint at what consequences the intransigence of the NBA commissioner Adam Silver in matters of redistribution of league income, some of which goes to clubs, and therefore on the players’ salaries. By the way, this version would not be the worst. At least, it is justified – banal greed is much clearer than total incompetence mixed with slogans and obsessive thoughts about establishing themselves in history not only as athletes, but also as great reformers.
Most of all, the mantra of the majority of Western journalists is stunning, who agree that “the players have no leverage over the government, but in an ultimatum form they can draw attention to the problem of police brutality on the part of presidents and club owners, who in turn put pressure on the league, and that – on the governors of the states in which the club is based, and politicians in Washington. ” Not only is this very similar to how the guy who started the fight says: “Well, you’re here on your own, and while I’m going with my friends to ride a banana,” it also absolutely does not work in the realities of US legislation. Is that what the Bucks players wanted specifically in this situation? For the authorities to condemn the cops who shot Jacob Blake. The US police are not a federal entity and in fact do not obey the people from the White House, so what’s the point of appealing to them. Only the Wisconsin Department can carry out reform in the Wisconsin Police Department, but, firstly, in the eyes of the majority of the population of the state, which is based on white Republicans, this means losing a loyal audience, and secondly, any law is a long, painstaking niggle. And even more so, no one will change anything now, on the eve of the elections.
Absolutely nothing follows from the allegedly revolutionary gesture of the commands. The players simply threw in a bunch of all kinds of motivational phrases, cultural references to the activities of Martin Luther King, utopian demands, and then set fire to this heap right in front of Adam Silver’s threshold, so that he would plunge into it, going out on the porch in the morning. I confess that even the lack of hair never prompted me to solidarity with the actions of the current league commissioner, but what he did with this “Bubble” is really worthy of respect and compliments. A titanic work was done, huge money was injected into the organization. From the point of view of the idea itself, its technical and business implementation, this is the highest score. And now all this can burst and instead of an innovative, outstanding solution, remain on Silver’s professional reputation, excuse me, as an indelible black spot. So far, there is a lot of pathos and rhetoric in the actions of the players, but little specifics. The decision to change something and change yourself is always commendable, the great Faina Ranevskaya used to say: “change, you brute, work on yourself or die alone”. A very correct approach, only even the most general and insignificant changes imply specific actions: reject – offer your own. It is with the latter that the NBA players still have obvious problems, so their activity, no matter how deliberate it may be, has little to do with constructive creation.