The Rush: NBA to resume play, actively exploring ways to be proactive

After boycotts and emotionally charged meetings, the NBA decided to resume play, but with Michael Jordan mediating between the players and owners, the league is exploring how to actively effect social change. Both the NBA and WNBA postponed their games Thursday, along with the NHL, and seven MLB games were also postponed. The New York Mets took the field, held a 42-second moment of silence in honor of Jackie Robinson, and then left the field, not returning to play. Off the field, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was caught on camera criticizing commissioner Robert Manfred and his alleged response to players wanting to postpone games. Nine NFL teams cancelled practice or team activities while the New Orleans Saints did practice, but wore helmets displaying Jacob Blake’s name.

Video Transcript

- So it would appear as though that the Mets and Marlins will not be playing baseball tonight. And the Black Lives Matter shirt left on top of home plate.

JARED QUAY: That was the Mets and Marlins walking off the field yesterday, making a powerful statement. We'll get back to the Mets. But let's start with the league that initiated these protests. After yesterday's incidents, NBA players decided to resume play, instead of canceling the postseason. Thursday's three playoff games have been postponed.

But it remains to be seen when games will start back, as players, coaches, owners, and personnel are still discussing the NBA's plans moving forward. Michael Jordan, the only black majority owner in the NBA, has been in contact with NBPA president, Chris Paul, and Rockets point guard, Russell Westbrook. Jordan has been asking what players, themselves, hope to accomplish and offering his assistance going forward, which is huge considering Michael Jordan has been really silent about social justice and racial issues throughout his career. Meanwhile, the WNBA, who has been fighting for social justice for years, followed their Wednesday decision not to play by postponing their Thursday games as well.

NNEKA OGWUMIKE: It is important to note that this is not a strike, this is not a boycott, this is, affirmatively, a day of reflection.

JARED QUAY: The NBA and WNBA have a lot of allies as well. Nine NFL teams canceled practice or team activities. Tennessee Titan players released a video showing solidarity and explaining exactly what's wrong with the current system.

RYAN TANNEHILL: It's sickening to just know that they have to worry about their kids coming home at night. I have two young kids, that because of the color of their skin, I never have to worry about if they get pulled over by a police officer, if they're going to make it out of that interaction alive.

JARED QUAY: The New Orleans Saints did practice on Thursday. But players elected to wear Jacob Blake's name on the top of their helmet. And head coach, Sean Payton, fully supported the idea.

SEAN PAYTON: You know, I think we've got a really good, close locker room. And if they came up with something that they felt they wanted to do, I would support it.

JARED QUAY: A day after catching heat for playing their full postseason slate, the NHL postponed games on both Thursday and Friday, and will resume play on Saturday.

RYAN REAVES: I think if you look around this room, there's a lot of-- there's a lot of white athletes in here. You know, I go to war with these guys. And I hate their guts on the ice. But I couldn't be more proud of these guys. It's-- the statement that they've made today is something that's going to last.

JARED QUAY: On the diamond, after three games were postponed on Wednesday, seven games were postponed on Thursday. But it seems not everything is as unified as it looks. Mets GM, Brody Van Wagenen was caught on tape criticizing commissioner Robert Manfred.

BRODIE VAN WAGENEN: The three of us here-- it can't leave this room, they're saying, you know what would be really great, if you just have them all take the field. Then they leave the field. And then they come back and play at 8:10. And I was like, what? What's-- Rob--

They're not playing, but that's Rob's instinct. And Rob not-- exactly what you and I were talking about-- at leadership level, he doesn't get it.

JARED QUAY: The GM later apologized, stating there's been miscommunication involved. But the Mets and Marlins did go through with the demonstration, holding a 42-second moment of silence honoring Jackie Robinson and leaving the field. However, they did not return an hour later.

These demonstrations and protests are wonderful. It's amazing to see so many from so many different backgrounds recognizing and supporting the plight of the Black community. But let us not lose ourself in this spectacle. And let's keep our eyes on exactly what we're fighting for.

ROBERT HORRY: And it's hard to tell your 14-year-old son, that I worry about him when he walks out that door. I have a 21-year-old son. I worry about him 'cause Black men are-- are endangered species, pretty much.