Pascal Siakam on being in bubble amid protests: ‘Feels like we’re stuck’
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam opened up Wednesday about NBA players remaining in the Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Fla., amid renewed protests spawned by the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers last Sunday in Kenosha, Wisc.
What’s more, Siakam went so far as to question the wisdom of continuing the postseason amid the public outcry over Blake, an unarmed Black man, being shot in the back seven times by officers, the latest incident of police misconduct that led to widespread outrage that came to head with George Floyd’s death on May 25.
Here's an extended chunk of Siakam's availability today discussing Jacob Blake, the trauma of this happening repeatedly, and where he's at with playing. pic.twitter.com/mGm6eFz6oG— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) August 26, 2020
“It feels like we’re stuck,” Siakam said amid broader comments on the situation, as shared by Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “It feels like things are not changing. It feels like we’re not doing anything productive.”
Siakam declined to say that he regrets traveling to the Orlando bubble, but he now isn’t so sure in light of the Blake incident.
“Definitely things like that happening makes me question it,” Siakam said. ” … It makes me question if this was the right decision, or are we really making a change, are we really doing something meaningful?”
Siakam’s comments came amid a report by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports about how the NBA Players Association executive committee has engaged players to examine the logistics of boycotting playoff games to raise awareness about the ongoing systemic racism and police misconduct exemplified again with the Blake shooting.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN adds that the Siakam’s Raptors and Boston Celtics have discussed potentially boycotting Thursday night’s Game 1 of the teams’ conference semifinals series. The teams are expected to meet again on Wednesday night.
There is of course no shortage of frustration and outrage among NBA players, not to mention coaches, over the Blake incident. With Siakam and many others in the bubble expressing disgust and dismay over this latest incident of racial injustice and police brutality, it’s conceivable that players may agree that simply speaking out about the situation isn’t enough at this point.