All three of Wednesday’s NBA playoff games have been postponed, with the players deciding to boycott as an act of protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The NBA and the players association confirmed via Twitter that “in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games… have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.”
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski first confirmed that the Milwaukee Bucks — who hail from Wisconsin, where Blake was shot seven times by police and reportedly paralyzed on Sunday — had decided to boycott Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic:
Bucks player George Hill confirmed the news to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, adding: “We’re tired of the killings and the injustice.”
The Bucks and Magic were scheduled to play Game 5 of their first-round playoff series at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, which was set to air on NBA TV. But after the Magic took the court to warm up, they returned to the locker room and did not come back out. The Bucks never took the court to warm up, and neither team was on the court when the game was slated to begin.
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Soon after the Bucks announced their boycott, Wednesday’s game between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder, slated to air on TNT at 6:30 pm ET, was also boycotted by the two teams, according to NBA reporter Shams Charania:
The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, slated for 9 pm ET on TNT, was postponed shortly thereafter. There’s no word yet on when the three playoff games will be rescheduled.
Three Major League Baseball games were also postponed on Wednesday: the Milwaukee Brewers versus the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres versus the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers versus the San Francisco Giants. “Given the pain in the communities of Wisconsin and beyond following the shooting of Jacob Blake, we respect the decisions of a number of players not to play tonight,” MLB said in a statement. “Major League Baseball remains united for change in our society and we will be allies in the fight to end racism and injustice.”
The WNBA announced they would not play Wednesday’s slate of games as well:
The NBA has embraced the Black Lives Matter movement since the restart of the 2019-20 season in Orlando last month, with players wearing messages on their jerseys pushing for social justice like “Black Lives Matter” and “How Many More.” (The Black Lives Matter message is also printed on the court itself.)
The shooting of Blake has sparked days of protest in Wisconsin and across the country, with riots and clashes between police and protestors in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha, where Blake was shot. This follows a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement this year in light of the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May, along with the killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky in March.