Sports tell us what we value in a functioning society

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The NBA playoffs will resume Saturday.

I watched a basketball game yesterday. My hometown team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, against the Houston Rockets. The Thunder shot 31 percent from the field and were outscored 66-35 in the second half. The Rockets won 114-80, going up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. It wasn’t a good game by any definition. Still, I was happy to watch.

There wasn’t basketball to watch the last few days. Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to take the court for their playoff game, in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisc. last Sunday. 

The Bucks’ strike for racial justice sparked a chain reaction. Their opponents, the Orlando Magic, and the four other NBA teams scheduled to play Wednesday all walked out as well. In the WNBA, the Washington Mystics refused to play, taking the court in shirts that together spelled out Blake’s name. The NBA and NHL ultimately postponed games on Thursday and Friday; the WNBA postponed Thursday’s games. Fourteen MLB games altogether were called off between Wednesday and Friday.

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