Whether it’s on the court, in the boardroom, or on the shop floor, taking a stand can require more than just words. The Milwaukee Bucks just proved it can be done tactfully — and should probably be done more often.
In response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Wednesday night’s playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to take the floor against the Orlando Magic. (The Magic were on court for pregame warmups, but left once they realized the Bucks did not plan to play.)
According to reports, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder also planned not to play, and nor did the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers.
In response, the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association announced the postponement of all three playoff games, saying:
… in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games (Milwaukee v Orlando, Houston v Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers against Portland) have been postponed.
Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.
Discussions about a walkout began after video showed Blake, a Black man and father of three, was shot in the back multiple times by a White police officer.
As Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said:
… at the end of the day, if we’re gonna sit here and talk about making change, then at some point we’re gonna have to put our nuts on the line and actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility.
Milwaukee Bucks SVP Alex Lasry agreed with the players’ decision, saying:
Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen.
I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100 percent behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.
Plenty of of people take verbal stands.
Fewer take a stand and put effort — and risk — behind their opinions.
Plenty of people try to stand out in a superficial way: Clothes, interests, public displays of support for overwhelmingly popular initiatives. They’re conspicuous for reasons of sizzle, not steak.
It takes real courage to take what some see as an unpopular stand. It takes real courage to risk not just for the sake of risk, but for the sake of the reward you believe is possible — and by your example to inspire others to risk in order to achieve what they believe is possible.
It’s easy to criticize what’s wrong or to talk about what should be changed or could be improved.
The much harder to help do something about it.
But that’s how things change: In society, in business… in every situation or environment.