The NBA has postponed its playoff games follow the Milwaukee Bucks boycotts.
On Wednesday, it was announced that several playoff games would be placed on a pause after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their matchup with the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of #JacobBlake, a Black man in Wisconsin who was shot seven times in the back as he was walking away from police.
However, the Bucks weren’t the only team to boycott their Game 5 matchup; the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets, each followed suit. The three games are set to be rescheduled.
“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,” said Magic in a statement. Many NBA players have been speaking out and calling for the end of police brutality. “We demand change. “Sick of it,” said LeBron James in a tweet.
The New York Times reports that players from the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are also considering boycotting the first game of their second-round playoff series, which takes place on Thursday night. Some even said they might leave the NBA bubble, located at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla. Awareness won’t cut it anymore; players want action. “That’s really what they want. I think there’s enough attention, and there’s not quite enough action,” said Raptors Coach Nick Nurse to reporters on Wednesday.
“We tried to be peaceful, kneeling. We tried to protest. And for us, we tried to come out here and get together and play this game and try to get our voice across. But it’s not working, so obviously, something has to be done. Right now, our focus shouldn’t really be on basketball,” said Marcus Smart of the Celtics said on Tuesday. The NFL has also joined in solidarity by canceling practice in protest of Blake’s shooting. WNBA players have also been sitting out in protest, and to focus on social justice.
Los Angeles Clippers coach, Doc Rivers said that Blake’s shooting was “sickening.” He said even watching the Republican National Convention shows the racism that plagues the country. “Just watching the Republican convention, and they’re spewing this fear. All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones who were denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. All you keep doing is hearing about fear. It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” said Rivers.