Last Wednesday afternoon in Orlando, Florida, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to protest police violence and the failure of the Wisconsin state legislature to convene to deal with these issues. In the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the subsequent murder of protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the team took a stand with the Movement for Black Lives. They attempted to forfeit their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, who, instead, refused the forfeit. The strike by both teams of their playoff game spread to the rest of the NBA, the WNBA, Major League Baseball, and even into individual sports.
The Wisconsin Conference of the AAUP stands in solidarity with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Movement for Black Lives. We applaud the players for their bold stand and the ownership of the team for supporting their players. We particularly applaud the decision by the Bucks ownership to open the Fiserv Forum as an early voting site in the upcoming election.
In speaking to the press after the decision, Bucks guard George Hill specifically called on the Legislature and its leaders, Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald, to convene and address the issue of police reform. The strong stand taken by the Bucks and other professional sports teams amplifies the message of protestors around the country against police violence. We call upon the Wisconsin state legislature and Governor Evers to take significant steps to address these issues.