LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In a bid to gain the attention – and with any luck, influence – of some high-profile players in their racial and social justice plight, a modest group of protesters briefly blocked at least two buses chartered by the NBA from entering the league’s enclosed campus at Walt Disney World on Saturday night.
Orange County deputies confirmed to WFTV that they responded to the incident near the so-called NBA bubble, but noted they were only on site to assist with traffic control.
The protesters blocked traffic and held signs demanding justice for Salaythis Melvin, a Black man who was fatally shot in the back by an Orange County deputy last month outside the Florida Mall, WFTV reported.
Protesters hoped their message might reach high-profile players such as LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, chanting “LeBron, can you help us” and carrying signs with messages such as “Russell Stand With Us,” ESPN reported.
According to the sports news network, only media and NBA staff were aboard the buses, and the protesters, who had initially gathered on a public road, stopped the vehicles on an access road leading to the resort’s primary entrance. Teams and staff have been residing, practicing and playing in the bubble exclusively for about two months as a means of controlling their exposure to the novel coronavirus.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office told WFTV that the protesters left without any incident.