“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,” the commentator said before removing his microphone and leaving the studio. “I just don’t feel equipped to be here.”
Ernie Johnson said he respected Smith’s decision. He, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley continued the program without Smith.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
The NBA postponed all playoff games on Wednesday night after several teams opted not to play in response to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The WNBA also canceled all its games Wednesday night.
The Milwaukee Bucks, the team based closest to Kenosha, staged the first walkout for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The decision prompted the cancellation of the Houston Rockets’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Portland Trailblazers.
Several players in the league, including LeBron James, voiced their support of the walkout and demanded change.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
Police in Kenosha shot Blake, 29, multiple times in the back while his children were nearby in their car. Videos of the shooting have set off a wave of protests, some of which have turned violent. Two people in Kenosha died Tuesday night after white armed vigilantes arrived at a protest.
RELATED… MLB Teams Boycott Games Following Jacob Blake Shooting Here's What We Know About The Kenosha, Wisconsin, Shooting It Will Take A 'Miracle' For Jacob Blake To Walk Again After Police Shot Him 7 Times: Attorney testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks. Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost