All Wednesday NBA playoffs postponed after Bucks Game 5 boycott

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The three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with league players refusing to play in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.Canceled: games between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The NBA said all three games will be postponed, but did not say when.

The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks – the Wisconsin NBA team, a state rocked in recent days by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, did not speak for their game playoff against the Magic. The teams were scheduled to start Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

The players had discussed the boycott of bubble games after Blake was shot dead by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Further talks were scheduled for Wednesday, but before that the Bucks had apparently decided they would act.

Magic players and referees were on the basketball court for the game, but Milwaukee never spoke up. Eventually everyone left and the arena staff quickly picked up the balls, towels and tags that were on the players’ chairs inside.

REGARDER | Boycott des Milwaukee Bucks Game 5:

The Milwaukee Bucks did not speak for their Game 5 against the Orlando Magic in response to Jacob Blake’s shot. 0:31

“Some things are more important than basketball,” tweeted Alex Lasry, senior vice president of Bucks. “The position taken today by the players and [the organization] shows that we have had enough. Enough is enough. Change must happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we are 100% behind our players ready to help and make a real change. ”

Lakers governor Jeanie Buss said in a tweet: “I support our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we must all work together to say enough is enough.

The Bucks remained in their locker room after 6 p.m., more than two hours after deciding to boycott. It was not immediately clear why they were staying in the arena.

“We weren’t given advance notice of the decision, but we’re happy to stand with Milwaukee, Jacob and the entire NBA community,” said Orlando goalie Michael Carter-Williams. “Change is coming. ”

There are three more playoff games scheduled for Thursday. It was not clear whether they would be affected. Several NBA players, including LeBron James, have tweeted messages asking for a change, as has the official Boston Celtics Twitter account.

WATCH | Bucks, Magic players leave arena after Milwaukee Game 5 boycott:

After announcing that the Milwaukee Bucks were out in Game 5 in response to Jacob Blake’s shot, the teams left the arena. 0:54

National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and guard Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets were seen emerging from a conversation, shortly before it was known that their teams also had decided not to play their game scheduled for Wednesday.

“Today we stand united with the NBA board, 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, ”the Magic and its ownership group, the DeVos family, said in a statement.

WATCH | Morgan Campbell of CBC Sports discusses the effect of sporting events:

Morgan Campbell of CBC Sports speaks with Jacqueline Doorey about the responsibility (or lack thereof) of athletes in the face of social injustice. 3:36

Demanding societal change and ending racial injustice has been a big part of rebooting the NBA at Walt Disney World. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is painted on the arena’s courts, players wear messages calling for change on their jerseys, and coaches wear lapel pins demanding racial justice as well.

“We’re the ones getting killed,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is black, said in a moving speech after the game on Tuesday night. “We are the ones who get shot. We are the ones who are refused to live in certain communities. We were hanged. We were shot. And all you do is keep hearing about the fear. It’s amazing why we continue to love this country and this country doesn’t love us back. And it’s just, it’s really so sad. ”

The Celtics and Toronto Raptors met on Tuesday to discuss the boycott of Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series, which is scheduled for Thursday. Members of the National Basketball Players Association also attended the meetings and Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala – a union leader – said at around 2:15 p.m. he did not believe a boycott plan had been finalized.

“When you talk about boycotting a game, everyone’s antenna goes up,” Iguodala said. “It’s sad that you have to make threats like that – I wouldn’t say threats – but you have to be willing to sacrifice corporate money to make people realize that there is a big problem out there.” . “

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