NBA playoff games postponed after Bucks, Magic boycott game 5

U.S.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (NewsNation) — NBA players made a strong statement again 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. ET, with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

Shortly after, the NBA and the players association announced all of Wednesday’s games would be postponed. The Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trailblazers were also scheduled for Wednesday. Game five of each series will be rescheduled, according to the NBA.

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.

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.

“We fully support our players and the decision they made,” the Bucks said in a statement. “Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”

Players for the Bucks issued a statement Wednesday evening following their boycott and Blake’s shooting.

“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

The WNBA said three games scheduled for Wednesday evening have been postponed.

Former President Barack Obama also tweeted a message of support for the Milwaukee Bucks and players who are “setting an example.”

NewsNation affiliate WGN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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