Former head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, George Karl, believes the team’s social efforts deserve the credit for Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin.
The Democratic presidential state wore the crucial Swing State, which President Donald Trump had turned red four years ago.
Biden, who was also declared the winner in Michigan, another crucial state of the so-called Blue Wall, which was elected a Republican in 2016, stayed behind in Wisconsin in the counting of votes but caught up and was declared the winner with over 98 percent of the votes counted (49.4 percent compared to 48.8 percent).
Karl was pleased with the result, which was contested by the Trump campaign, and attributed it to the Bucks players’ efforts to promote social justice and racial equality – a message he felt was particularly well received by young voters.
It is good to see Wisconsin turning the tables on this election.
I like to think that the Bucks’ efforts this summer to prioritize social justice have had an impact here, especially among younger voters!
– George Karl (@CoachKarl22) November 4, 2020
“It’s good that Wisconsin won the Wisconsin flip in this election,” the experienced NBA head coach twittered.
“I like to believe that the Bucks’ efforts this summer to prioritize social justice have had an impact here, especially among younger voters.
After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, several NBA players loudly called for social change and demanded an end to racial discrimination.
In response, the league gave players a choice of 29 messages of social justice to wear on their jerseys when the season resumed in the biosafety bubble in Orlando, Florida, after a four-month break due to the corona virus pandemic. Meanwhile, the “Black Lives Matter” logo was painted on all the courts used in the remaining regular season games and playoffs.
The Bucks, however, took the social protests further than any other team involved in the restart when they boycotted Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on August 26 after Jacob Blake was shot dead in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake, a black man, was paralyzed after being shot seven times in the back at close range by a police officer when he opened the door of his car while his three children were in the back seat. Just three months after Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody for nearly nine minutes, when a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, Blake’s shooting sparked renewed nationwide protests.
Isolated in the Orlando bubble, the NBA players felt powerless to make a statement, and Buck’s guard George Hill expressed the frustration of his colleagues when he suggested that the NBA should never have resumed the season given the social tensions in the United States.
Because Bucks’ players had limited opportunities to make their voices heard, they decided to take action themselves to demand justice and boycotted the game against the Magic, with the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers following suit.
“We fully support our players and the decision they made,” Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said in a statement.
“Although we didn’t know it before, we would have agreed with all our hearts. The only way to bring about change is to shed light on the racial injustices that are happening before our eyes. This is what our actors have done, and we will continue to stand by their side and demand accountability and change.
It was expected that the Fiserv Forum, the Bucks’ home arena, would be used as a venue for personal postal voting before the Milwaukee Election Commission decided against it.
“Unfortunately, the addition of these two locations could be legally challenged by a recent court decision, and we do not want to do anything that would risk the ballot of a Milwaukee voter being counted,” said Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, in a statement last month.