The NBA season is “up in the air” after the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers took a stance against concluding the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Milwaukee Bucks chose not to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Bucks players are calling for justice in the case of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times in the back by police Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is paralyzed from the waist down. They’re also demanding that the Wisconsin state legislature reconvene and “address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform.”
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
WNBA players chose not to play Wednesday night, as well.
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) August 26, 2020
Players opted against playing three scheduled MLB games and five scheduled MLS games.
Lakers star LeBron James said in Wednesday night’s meeting that he wants owners to be more involved and take action, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Both a Board of Governors meeting and another players’ meeting are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Wojnarowski reports it’s “unlikely” Thursday’s postseason games will be played,
Racial injustice and police brutality were issues NBA players said they hoped to draw attention to leading into the league’s restart during the coronavirus pandemic. Some had concerns that returning to play would detract from nationwide protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by police, and remove focus from important areas.
The Sixers’ season ended Sunday when they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Josh Richardson and Ben Simmons were among the players who discussed racial injustice with reporters. Harris and Scott pushed Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron to arrest the officers involved in the killing of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman. The three officers, Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, have not been arrested.
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