Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton was seen wearing a message of activism while boarding the team plane headed to Boston for Game 7 of the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series with the Celtics.
Connaughton had the message “PROTECT KIDS NOT GUNS” on his shirt.
The statement comes one day removed from a night of gun violence in downtown Milwaukee.
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Police said at least 21 people were wounded Friday night downtown — including 17 shot in one incident — following three shootings in the downtown bar district after Game 6.
A 16-year-old girl and two men, ages 29 and 26, were shot near the corner of North King Drive and Highland Avenue. A 19-year-old man was arrested.
Then about 10:30 p.m., a 20-year-old man was shot and injured on Water Street near Highland Avenue.
The first two shootings do not appear to be connected to the third shooting, which injured 17 people, and also occurred near Water Street and Highland Avenue.
The victims ranged in age from 15 to 47. In total, 11 people, ranging in age from 19 to 30, were arrested and 10 guns were recovered.
Everyone shot downtown Friday night is expected to survive.
At least 11,000 people gathered in the Deer District and many were seen scrambling following reports of shots fired. Crowds also spilled over onto King Drive and Water Street.
The Bucks issued a statement following the shootings saying “the incident took place outside of the Deer District area.”
Following Friday night’s events, Mayor Cavalier Johnson responded by imposing an 11 p.m. curfew for all people under 21 in the downtown bar district for Saturday and Sunday.
Shortly thereafter, the Bucks sent a news release announcing that the Sunday watch party for Game 7 in the Deer District had been canceled “to allow law enforcement to devote needed resources to the continued investigation of last night’s events.”
Connaughton also wore the shirt in 2020 during the NBA’s first action since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while in the NBA “bubble” in Orlando, Florida.