An empty court and bench is shown before the start of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
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All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday will be postponed as players protest the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake, the league announced. The games will be rescheduled.
“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced 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 – Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,” the league said in a statement.
Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back at least seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The incident has sparked protests in Kenosha throughout the week. Blake is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.
The NBA protest started when players from the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks did not take the court when their playoff game was scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The NBA announced it would postpone all games on Wednesday following reports that the other teams scheduled to play planned to boycott their games as well.
Bucks SVP Alex Lasry tweeted his support for the players’ protest:
The restart of the NBA season in the Disney bubble has been an opportunity for players, coaches and staff to take a stand against racial inequality in the country, with many players wearing slogans on their jerseys and “Black Lives Matter” printed on the court.
Following the Los Angeles Clippers Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks, coach Doc Rivers also spoke on the shooting of Blake and current state of race relations in the U.S.
You can watch Rivers’ comments here: