While the Miami Heat were able to win a competitive Game 4 against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, basketball was not the only thing on these players’ minds before or after the game.
Earlier in the day, a Kentucky grand jury made the decision against charging police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor in March, resulting in a feeling of frustration for many including those in the sports world.
Following Game 4, Jimmy Butler from the Heat and Jaylen Brown from the Celtics both chose to speak about their disappointment on the grand jury’s decision. Both players have been outspoken about the Black Lives Matter movement since joining the bubble as well as before, and they did not hold back on their feelings about this case.
“I wasn’t surprised. I think that this society — the way it was built — its intentions was to never protect and serve people of colour initially,“ Brown told reporters.
"I just think it's some bullcrap," added Butler.
For players such as Brown and Butler to continue to speak up about these issues time and time over during their stay in the NBA bubble goes a long way towards keeping up the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, although as some players such as Fred VanVleet have noted, it’s also important that these players aren’t alone as the only ones speaking.
Frustrations over the grand jury’s decision led to protests, demonstrations and marches in multiple U.S. cities on Thursday night, and NBA players shared their own feelings on social media as well.