By Danny Segura | USAToday
Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya is siding with some of his fellow professional athletes’ decision to halt play in protest of a police shooting in Wisconsin earlier this week. The UFC middleweight champion said he commends NBA players for boycotting play in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha.
In the wake of that shooting, captured on video, the city has erupted in daily and nightly protests. Things continued to take a violent turn earlier this week with the shooting of three people, allegedly by an armed teenager from out of state. Two of the victims have died.
Milwaukee Bucks’ players refused to take the court for their game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Later, players from other teams followed suit, forcing the NBA to postpone all of its Wednesday playoff games. The games are expected to be resumed on Saturday and Thursday’s games have rescheduled for Sunday, according to ESPN.
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Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back while he tried to enter the driver’s side of his vehicle. Blake, according to statements from his parents, currently is paralyzed from the waist down.
Adesanya said he is glad to see NBA players take a stand.
“If the NBA walks out, if they (explicit) their money up, that’s the owners’ money and the shareholders and whatever – so good,” Adesnaya said on The Luke Thomas Show. “If that’s what it takes to bring change, then good.”
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Adesnaya, one of the UFC’s biggest stars, has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement. In June,Adesanya addressed a BLM rally outside the U.S. Embassy in his adopted hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, to take a stand against racism and police brutality on Black lives following the killing of George Floyd.
The 31-year-old fighter said he has yet to watch the viral video of the shooting of Blake.
“I’m finding my own way to change the world around me, but I’m doing that away from the media,” Adesanya said. “I’m trying to respond, not react. But I feel like that’s what they want. They want us to react. They want us to point the finger – blame each other, this side vs. this side. ‘My God is better than your God.’ ‘My race is better than your race.’ ‘My people are better than your people.’null
“Like, what the (explicit) is Blue Lives Matter? You choose to be a cop. You don’t choose to be Black. It’s a privilege to be Black. Bottom line, I choose to respond, not to react, so I’m taking my time because it just happened. But good on the players in the NBA for doing so. I commend them for that.”
Adesanya currently is scheduled to defend his 185-pound title against Brazil’s Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on Sept. 26.
Read from source USAToday