MILWAUKEE — Marquette’s men’s basketball team wore black uniforms in support of a Black man shot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by a police officer last summer after it was announced Tuesday no charges would be filed, and the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks said they plan to continue pushing for policy changes in law enforcement.
Jacob Blake, who is Black, was left paralyzed after being shot on Aug 23 by officer Rusten Sheskey, who is white.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday that no charges would be filed because he couldn’t disprove Sheskey’s contention that he acted in self-defense out of fear that Blake would stab him.
The Bucks — who share Fiserv Forum with Marquette about 40 miles south of Kenosha — sat out an August first-round playoff game to protest the shooting. That led the NBA to postpone all games that day, and player-driven protests also led to postponements in the WNBA and Major League Baseball.
Marquette played its scheduled game Tuesday against UConn but said it was wearing black uniforms “in support of Jacob Blake, his family and the Kenosha community in reaction the announcement earlier today.”
“We are extremely disappointed in the decision involving Jacob’s shooting and we will continue to use our platform to advocate and fight for racial justice, “ Marquette said in a statement on the men’s basketball program’s Twitter account. “This is another reminder that just because racial and social injustice hasn’t received as much attention recently, doesn’t mean the need to fight against it has gone away.”
The Bucks, who weren’t playing Tuesday, issued a statement regarding their stand against excessive force by police without commenting specifically on Graveley’s decision.
“The Bucks organization remains firmly against excessive use of force by law enforcement,” the Bucks said. “This past year shed light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American and other marginalized communities. Reoccurring instances of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the Black community must stop.
“We will continue to work to enact policy change so these incidents no longer exist. As an organization, we remain strongly committed to address issues of social injustice and anti-racism and to make meaningful change for African Americans and all marginalized members of our community.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James appeared to reference the ruling via social media. After rapper and activist Common tweeted out the quote “an unjust law is no law at all,” James retweeted it and added, “AT ALL!!!”