Powell, VanVleet say Raptors have discussed boycotting games following Jacob Blake shooting

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Toronto Raptors forward guard Malcolm Miller, left,, guard Kyle Lowry (1), and Stanley Johnson (5) celebrate their win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)

Toronto Raptors guards Norm Powell and said Tuesday that the team has discussed the possibility of boycotting games following continued acts of police brutality against Black people in the United States.

The comments come two days after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by police in Wisconsin. Blake survived, but is paralyzed from the waist down, according to his father.

“I’m in a different place today, emotionally speaking. It’s starting to feel like everything we’re doing is just going through the motions, nothing’s changing,” VanVleet said.

“What are we willing to give up? Do we actually give a f— about what’s going on?”

Powell added, “I’m pretty sick to my stomach to have to sit up here and talk about this again.”

When it comes to boycotting games, Powell said, “I think it’s been talked about. I think everybody is at the point of sitting up and saying, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and sitting up and having these discussions in Zoom calls. That’s not getting the job done. Taking a knee for the anthem, that’s not getting the job done. It’s starting to get washed out.”

Many players across the league have knelt during the national anthem and are wearing messages of social justice on the backs of their jerseys as a protest against racial injustice.

Toronto opens their second-round series against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

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