In the wake of the grand jury ruling regarding Breonna Taylor, Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling for an athletic boycott of the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into the homes of Taylor’s neighbors on the night the 26-year-old was killed in March.
Neither Hankison or the other officers involved in the shooting were charged with manslaughter or murder for their roles in Taylor’s death. The verdict sparked mass protests nationwide.
As a way of fighting back, Rev. Jackson suggests professional athletes should discourage basketball and football recruits from attending the state of Kentucky’s two major programs.
“The players in the WNBA, NFL & NBA must discourage high profile athletes, basketball & football players, from going to the University of Kentucky & the University of Louisville,” Jackson wrote. “We must make economic life in [Kentucky] inconvenient. This tactic has always worked for oppressed people.”
The players in the WNBA, NFL & NBA must discourage high profile athletes, basketball & football players, from going to the University of Kentucky & the University of Louisville. We must make economic life in KY inconvenient. This tactic has always worked for oppressed people.
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) September 24, 2020
While such a boycott would be incredibly noteworthy and potentially impactful, the odds of it happening are slim.
Even if there are some recruits and their families who are angry with the way Breonna Taylor’s case was handled by the state of Kentucky, it might not be enough for them to not consider playing for the Wildcats or Cardinals.