'Boycott Magic City': Actor mocks NBA players for skipping games to protest police shooting, suggests shunning strip club instead

Actor Terry Crews found a humorous way to needle NBA players for refusing to play games to protest this week’s police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saying they should instead boycott a famous strip club.

“Boycott Magic City,” Crews said Thursday on Twitter. The host of “America’s Got Talent,” who’s also black and a former National Football League player, used the hashtag #blacklovematters.

The comment elicited strong backlash on Twitter, where Black Lives Matter supporters suggested that Crews was being “anti-black” and distracting from the importance of police brutality. Some used racial epithets to attack Crews, calling him a “Co*n” and “Tom.” A New York Times Magazine reporter called Crews’ tweet “shameful.”

David Alan Grier, who, like Crews, is a black actor and comedian, tweeted, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Another Twitter user called Crews’ tweet “disgusting, but not surprising.”“You are singlehandedly the most opporcoonistic person I’ve ever seen in my life,” the netizen said. “I cringe every time you’re trending because I know I’m always about to see another Bojangles routine.”

Magic City, an Atlanta strip club that has long been frequented by famous professional athletes, made headlines last month when Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams got in hot water for visiting the establishment while he was on leave for a funeral. The league ordered Williams into a 10-day quarantine, causing him to miss two games, because teams are playing out the rest of this year’s pandemic-disrupted season in isolation, in the “NBA Bubble” in Orlando.

The NBA protest began Wednesday, when the Milwaukee Bucks, whose home arena is about 40 miles from Kenosha, refused to take the floor for Game Five of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic. The league later announced that all three of Wednesday’s games would be postponed and rescheduled.

The decision drew praise from such observers as radio host Stephen A. Smith and Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as criticism from some sports fans, who said they would no longer watch NBA games. Comments ranged from the boycott marking “the death of the league” to “Your league clearly hates America more than your Chinese bankrollers.”

Crews has been critical of BLM in the past, including a controversial tweet saying “We must ensure Black Lives Matter doesn’t morph into Black Lives Better.” His online comments led to a contentious July interview with CNN host Don Lemon, in which Crews pointed out that BLM is ignoring black-on-black violence that has killed children across the country. “Black people need to hold other black people accountable,” he told Lemon.

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