Former NBA player and current analyst Kenny Smith walked off the TNT Inside the NBA set Wednesday night to support the players who are boycotting to protest the Jacob Blake shooting that occurred Sunday night. While on the show, Smith had a hard time putting into words how he feels about the entire situation. Blake, a Black man from Wisconsin, was shot in the back seven times by police on Sunday. He was shot when attempting to enter his vehicle with three of his children inside.
"This is tough," Smith said. "I mean right now my head is ready to explode. Like just in the thoughts of what's going on. I don't even know if I am even appropriate enough to say it, what the players are feeling and how they are feeling. I haven't talked to any of the players. Coming in and even driving here, getting into the studio, hearing calls and people talking ... And for me, I think the biggest thing now as a Black man, as a former player, I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight."
"As a Black man, as a former player, I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight."
Kenny Smith walked off the TNT set in solidarity with the NBA players' strike of tonight's games. pic.twitter.com/HgurJPqHKB— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 26, 2020
Host Ernie Johnson said he respected Smith's move due to the circumstances. However, people on social media had mixed reactions, with some praising Smith while others not understanding why he walked off believing it won't make a difference.
"All we're asking is to stop shooting unarmed people... And they can't. They simply can't," one fan on Twitter wrote. "To ask was weak and now to demand is considered radical. That means they’re willing to allow the entire country to fail as long as they can feel important and be able to kill with impunity." All games on Wednesday were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks made the decision not to take the court for Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic. There is now talk for the league to call off the season so players can focus on the racial issues going on in the country.