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The Lakers and Trail Blazers will not play tonight

The Lakers, Trail Blazers and the rest of the teams that sat out on Wednesday in protest over police brutality and the Jacob Blake shooting are having their games rescheduled, according to the league.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic decided to boycott their playoff game in protest of continuing police brutality against Black people following the shooting of Jacob Blake, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder quickly followed suit. Now, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers will join them: They will not play in Game 5 of their first round series. The NBA is officially saying the games are postponed, although whether they’ll ever be rescheduled remains to be seen.

This is officially a huge moment for both the NBA, and potentially, the country as a whole.

There are now legitimate questions about whether or not the NBA playoffs will continue, but those are far from the most crucial thing right now, and I’m not going to sit here and speculate on the answers. We just don’t know.

You know what we do know? That the NBA players you root for and follow every single game are hurting. That is the thing that everyone reading the blog or who has ever cared one iota about this game needs to hear right now.

Listen to the pain in LeBron James’ voice the other night. Hear and read about how much racism and prejudice Doc Rivers has had to overcome his entire life. This is not a new issue, and sports aren’t the primary concern right now. Even if you question the efficacy of the method of protest here, or with whether or not the NBA should have attempted to resume in the bubble in the first place, this is not the time to argue over the means of all this.

This is a moment when we all need to listen, especially those of us — like myself — who are not Black. It shouldn’t be on these 20-30 year old athletes to fix our societal ills, and they won’t, at least not on their own. But maybe this really can be a moment that awakens people from the status quo of all this. It won’t fix things overnight, but maybe, just maybe it can make a difference in the long run.

All I know is that we all need to listen to what they have to say, and if you can’t empathize with the emotions they’re feeling right now, you’re just not paying attention.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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