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Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell reveal conversations about boycotting games

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors teammates Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell have had conversations about boycotting games due to the social injustice that continues to take place around the United States.

Simply put, VanVleet and Powell feel that the Black Lives Matter message is not being received well enough.

Over the weekend, yet another unarmed black man was shot by police officers in Wisconsin. Now Jacob Blake is in critical condition after taking eight bullets from behind. He is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his injuries. Blake’s shooting comes just three month after that of George Floyd’s.

The Raptors celebrated a first round sweep over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. However, their celebration was short-lived after learning of Blake’s shooting.

VanVleet is looking for real change:

“I was pretty excited and then we all had to watch Jacob Blake get shot yesterday,” the Raptors talent said, via Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “That changes the tone of things…It’s just starting to feel like everything we’re doing is just going through the motions, nothing’s changing.

“At some point, we’re the ones with the microphone always in our face,” Raptors star VanVleet added. “But we’re the oppressed one and the responsibility falls on us. At what point do we not have to speak on it anymore? Are we going to hold everyone accountable?

“What are we willing to give up? Do we actually give a f*** about what’s going on, or is it just cool to have Black Lives Matter on the backdrop or wearing a T-shirt?”

VanVleet’s Raptors teammate, Norman Powell, has similar sentiments with regards to the slow pace of racial equality and excessive force from police:

“I’m frustrated, honestly,”Powell said, via The Athletic. “I’m disappointed. I have a wide range of emotions. I’m pretty tired and sick to my stomach to have to sit up here and talk about this again.

“The police officers that are involved in these instances aren’t scared… the taxpayers are paying for these administrative leaves,” the Raptors talent added. “Ain’t nothing gonna change (until we) stand up and demand things. Until that is done, ain’t sh** gonna change.”

Whether or not VanVleet and Powell will boycott games to deliver their message remains to be seen, but it sounds like the two players have discussed the idea:

The Raptors will face off against the Boston Celtics in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Game 1 is set for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET.