Milwaukee Bucks boycott NBA playoff game in statement against racial injustice

Milwaukee Bucks boycott NBA playoff game in statement against racial injustice

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — NBA players made their strongest statement yet against racial injustice Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Orlando 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 Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More discussions were expected Wednesday, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act.

“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted Wednesday. “The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder will also boycott their game later Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers are also considering a boycott, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Decision made. Thunder and Rockets are boycotting Game 5, sources said. https://t.co/SCNAjsQYea— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 26, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers are leaning toward boycotting Game 5 tonight, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 26, 2020

Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More discussions were expected Wednesday, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act.

The league has not said if the game is called off, or if the Bucks would forfeit.

Magic players and referees were on the floor for the game but Milwaukee never took the floor. Eventually everyone else left and the arena staff soon took the balls, towels and tags that go on player chairs back inside.

This is a breaking news alert and will be updated.