NHL and NBA to return on Saturday as leagues reschedule after protests over Jacob Blake shooting

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The pro sports schedule is busier on Friday after a series of postponements over the past two days, but it will not be back to normal yet.The NBA announced Friday that it will resume its playoffs on Saturday after three days without games following the police shootout of Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha, Wis., Last weekend.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association made the announcement in a joint statement.

The Toronto Raptors begin their best of seven NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Boston Celtics on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

The NHL, meanwhile, will have a second straight game-free day on Friday before resuming its playoff schedule on Saturday with three games in Toronto and Edmonton.

WATCH | Powerful break for the world of sport:

Devin Heroux of CBC Sports looks back on a week in sport that saw a united demonstration of solidarity between professional leagues in favor of racial justice. 2:48

The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning kick off Saturday at 12 p.m. ET with Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semi-finals in Toronto. The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers face off in Game 4 of their series Saturday night in Toronto, and the Vancouver Canucks face the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of their conference semifinal. West in the last game of the night in Edmonton.

“This is all kind of social injustice and racism. But obviously, hockey is close to our hearts and right now it’s about supporting our comrades, being there for them and supporting them, ”said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “In the world of hockey we really want to accomplish some things, but it also means going beyond that and helping society as well and trying to make changes. ”

Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn said the two-day hiatus gave players time to educate themselves.

“It doesn’t matter who was here first. The point of the conversation now is that we are all having the conversation right now and we are all looking to educate ourselves and improve, ”he said.

“We all know nothing will be fixed by tomorrow morning, but this is a situation where everyone has to keep learning, asking questions and doing the right thing, being a good person in this world. Educate your children, teach them and grow and show them the right way. It’s definitely a long-term thing, but the point of the break was to get everyone to sit down, listen and think. ”

WATCH | Rob Pizzo sums up the historic NHL day:

In his daily recap, Rob Pizzo breaks down the last 24 hours that have led the NHL and NHLPA to postpone their games. 2:47

NBA forms coalition for social justice

The NBA and its players have also agreed to resume after making a commitment to move forward in three areas.

The NBA and its players will form a coalition for social justice; franchise governors will work with local election officials to convert team-owned arenas to polling locations for the November US election; and the league will work with players and network partners to create commercials in each playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement and raising voter access awareness.

The Raptors were one of at least four teams to cancel scheduled media sessions on Friday pending clarification of the NBA situation.

An emotional Chris Paul, the union president, detailed the events of the previous two days, when players upset by the latest police shootout on a black man left them to consider leaving the Disney campus and returning home.

“We’re all hurt, we’re all tired of seeing the same thing over and over and everyone just expects us to agree just because we’re paid a lot of money,” Paul said. “We’re human, we have real feelings and I’m glad we had the chance to walk into a room and talk to each other and not just cross paths and say good luck in your game today.” hui. ”

The Milwaukee Bucks triggered two days of cancellations by refusing to go to court on Wednesday to protest social and racial injustice.

Newer Blue Jay hopes protests spark change

One of the leaders of a Seattle team that decided not to participate in a game on Wednesday to protest racial and social injustice, pitcher Taijuan Walker hopes the actions of the Mariners and other clubs in the great league will help keep the conversation going.

“I think it was huge for all the teams to just send that message,” he said on Friday, a day after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. “Instead of just saying words, we’re going to take action. ”

The Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox sat in Thursday night’s game in Buffalo, New York, and the game is scheduled to be called in doubles on September 4.

“To move forward, you just have to keep talking about it, having these really tough conversations and learning,” said Walker, who wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt during a video call with journalists.

“And try to find a way to help, once you learn and once you are educated. ”

Toronto was due to return to the fight Friday night against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Walker, the only African-American player for the Blue Jays, was selected to make his first start for Toronto on Saturday.

Walker is a member of the Gaming Alliance, a group of more than 100 current and former Black Leagues who fight racial injustice. These players will donate their wages Thursday and Friday in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

It’s been a lightning week for the 28-year-old Shreveport, Louisiana native.

Walker, who lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, said he had family in Louisiana – including his father in the coastal town of Lake Charles – who “lost everything,” including property and personal effects. after Hurricane Laura hit the state.

“It’s pretty emotional for me and for them too,” he said, his voice breaking.

The action resumes

Tennis is also coming back after the game was postponed on Thursday. Canada’s Milos Raonic is in the semifinals at the Western & Southern Open in New York.

A Major League Soccer game in Montreal between the Impact and Toronto FC is scheduled for Friday night after five of the league’s last six games were postponed Wednesday.

The WNBA also resumes tonight with three games after postponing games from the last two days in its Bradenton, Fla. Bubble.

Kayla Alexander of Milton, Ont., And Bridget Carleton of Chatham, Ont., Will play for the Minnesota Lynx against the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 on Friday night.

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