ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the player’s response to the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to boycott Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting by police in Wisconsin.
Emotions run high, players were already exhausted by the bubble environment before Jacob Blake’s filming and sources say there are ongoing squad discussions over postponing tomorrow’s three games too – and beyond. of the. “The season is in danger,” a veterinarian told ESPN.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) 26 août 2020
The NBA subsequently canceled the other two playoff games scheduled for later that night.
Blake, a black man who was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday, is recovering in hospital and is conscious, his family said. But he is paralyzed from the waist down and his lawyers have said it would take “a miracle” for him to walk again.
The players in the bubble then held a meeting which, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated press, could have determined “the end of the season”.
Reynolds added, “The players are very clearly moved very passionately, very deeply about what has happened in Wisconsin. And not just that, but what happened in Minneapolis and what happened in Louisville before. It has weighed them down for quite some time, coupled with the pressure of being in the bubble. There are so many factors at play. ”
The players spoke passionately about voting and police reform, the sources said. Some feel that if the owners don’t come up with something that makes them believe staying will help move these important issues forward, this season is over.
– Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) 27 août 2020
The player meeting at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort lasted almost three hours. Yahoo Sports ‘ Chris Haynes reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers voted to withdraw for the remainder of the playoffs and were the first two teams to leave the meeting.
Players from most other teams wanted the playoffs to continue, according to L’Athletic’s Sham Charania.
The Clippers and Lakers’ vote not to continue the season was seen as a ballot rather than a final vote, sources told ESPN. The resumption of the playoffs is still relevant.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) 27 août 2020
Wojnarowski subsequently reported that the Clippers ‘and Lakers’ position “was seen more as a poll than a final vote,” according to sources.
Another players meeting will take place on Thursday at 11am (4pm UK time).
The Bucks, who are the top seed in the Eastern Conference and hold a 3-1 lead over the Magic, took to the field for pre-game warm-ups but stayed in the locker room when they were due to return. Milwaukee is located in the state of Wisconsin, just 40 miles from Kenosha, where the Blake shooting took place.
The Bucks’ game with the Magic was scheduled to end at 4 p.m. local time (9 p.m. BST) in Orlando. Two more games were scheduled for Wednesday, with the Oklahoma Thunder and the Houston Rockets set to play at 6:30 p.m. ET (11:30 p.m. BST) with their series tied 2-2, while the Los Angeles Lakers hold a 3-1 lead. on the Portland Trail Blazers entering their fifth game scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET (2:30 a.m. BST).
About an hour after the start of the Bucks-Magic game, with widespread reports that the final games were also boycotted by players, the NBA released a statement announcing its decision to postpone all three games.
“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced today that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision not to speak today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, all three of today’s games hui – Bucks vs Magic, Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed. The fifth game of each series will be postponed, ”the statement read.
In the Western Conference, Game 6 of the Denver Nuggets-Utah Jazz and LA Clippers-Dallas Mavericks series remains on Thursday, as well as the opening game of the Boston Celtics-Toronto Raptors Eastern Conference second round game.
Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan have released a joint statement in support of the team’s players.
“We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we don’t know in advance, we would totally agree with them, ”the statement read.
“The only way to bring about change is to bring to light the racial injustices that are happening before us. Our players have done it and we will continue to stand by their side and demand responsibility and change.
The Orlando Magic, who reportedly refused to accept a Bucks package, issued a statement in support of their playoff opponents.
“Today we are united with the NBA bureau, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league in condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color, ”the Magic statement said.
The National Association of Basketball Referees (NBRA) also released a statement supporting the players.
“The NBRA is in solidarity with the decision of our players to boycott tonight’s games in protest against the continued unjustified murder of black men and women by law enforcement,” the statement said. “There are bigger issues in our country than basketball and we hope that will inspire change. ”
The WNBA followed the NBA’s lead by also postponing its three games on Wednesday.
The Washington Mystics players, who were set to face the Atlanta dream, arrived for their game in t-shirts with letters combined to spell Blake’s name on the front, and seven markings each – representing bullet holes – on the back.
Then the players and staff knelt in protest with Blake’s name written on some of the players’ chests.
The protests extended to Major League Baseball with another Milwaukee team – the Brewers – and the Cincinnati Reds opted out of their scheduled game later Wednesday night. Other MLB teams were also considering canceling their games.
Five MLS matches were also postponed and Naomi Osaka withdrew from her WTA semi-final at the Western and Southern Open, tweeting “as a black woman … I feel like he there are much more important issues at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis ”.
James: We demand change
NBA players have been demonstrating since the season resumed in an Orlando bubble, in solidarity with the global action following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Players wore Black Lives Matter shirts during warm-ups, knelt while playing the US National Anthem before games, and wore social justice messages on the back of their jerseys during games.
WE CALL FOR CHANGE! HELLO @Bucks ✊🏾🙏🏾🗣
– Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) 26 août 2020
Several NBA players, including Lakers ‘LeBron James, have taken to social media to apparently support the Bucks’ decision to boycott the game.
James wrote on Twitter: “WE CALL FOR CHANGE. IN SICK. ”
Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who starred in a series between their sides in the bubble, also backed the Bucks.