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  5. NBA playoff games postponed after players protest Jacob Blake shooting

NBA playoff games postponed after players protest Jacob Blake shooting

The NBA players decided to sit out for the playoff games to protest against the incident of racial injustice in Kenosha.

AP AP
New Delhi Published on: August 27, 2020 8:46 IST
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The NBA players decided to sit out for the playoff games to protest against the incident of racial injustice in Kenosha.

All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.

The games between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland are called off.

The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.

And the reverberations quickly moved into Major League Baseball and the WNBA.

The Milwaukee Brewers' home game with the Cincinnati Reds was called off, by player decision, and other MLB teams were considering similar moves.

WNBA players are not playing their two regular-season games scheduled for Wednesday in Bradenton, Florida.

The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks - the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man - didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic.

The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Players and coaches in the bubble were invited to a meeting Wednesday to discuss how - or if - to go forward with the season.

Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who has a federal lawsuit pending against the city of Milwaukee alleging he was targeted because he was Black and that his civil rights were violated in January 2018 when officers used a stun gun on him after a parking violation, and teammate George Hill read a statement when the team emerged from its locker room nearly 3-1/2 hours after its game was to begin.

Brown called the video of Blake being shot “horrendous.”

The players did not take questions.

There are three more playoff games scheduled Thursday. It was unclear if they would be affected.

Several NBA players, including the Lakers' LeBron James, tweeted out messages demanding change and the Boston Celtics' official Twitter account did the same.

Demanding societal change and ending racial injustice has been a major part of the NBA's restart at Walt Disney World.

The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is painted on the arena courts, players are wearing messages urging change on their jerseys and coaches are donning pins demanding racial justice as well.

Many players wrestled for weeks about whether it was even right to play, fearing that a return to games would take attention off the deaths of, among others, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in recent months.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot when police officers burst into her Louisville, Kentucky apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation on March 13. The warrant was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found. Then on May 25, Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes - all captured on a cell phone video.

Professional sports has seen both strikes and lockouts in the past, almost always over salary disputes.

But this wouldn't seem to classify as a strike, even though it was initiated by players, since their dispute is not with the NBA.

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