The National Basketball Association has postponed all three playoff games on Wednesday’s schedule after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting.
The Bucks were to play the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their playoff series, but they decided as a team not to play the game — even though the Magic had already taken the court for pregame warmups.
The Magic left the court shortly before the 4 p.m. ET tip-off.
The NBA later announced that in conjunction with the Players Association, the decision was made to postpone the games until a later date.
The other games affected were the Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers.
“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”
Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times in the back on Sunday by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is 40 miles south of Milwaukee.
The possibility of a player-led boycott in the wake of the shooting was raised earlier in the week.
Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors suggested Tuesday night that members of his team had considered such an action.
“What are we willing to give up?” VanVleet said. “Do we actually give a (expletive) about what’s going on? Or is it just cool to wear BLM on the backdrop or wear a T-shirt? What does that really mean? Is it really doing anything? I don’t have the answers for you today.”
“We’re down here playing the bubble to do these things for social justice and all that, and to see it all still going on and we’re just playing the games like it’s nothing, it’s just a really messed up situation right now,” Hill said.
The Bucks’ Game 5 opponent also praised the decision to postpone the game. Shortly after the official announcement, the Magic released a statement:
“Today we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color.”
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