NBA players have decided not to play in Thursday’s scheduled playoff games but to resume the postseason this weekend, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Players met Thursday morning after making the historic decision on Wednesday to strike and not play any games that night.
Bucks guards Sterling Brown and George Hill read a statement from the team to reporters on Wednesday night in the NBA’s Disney World bubble. Milwaukee players want justice in the case of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back seven times by police as he was entering his car and is now paralyzed from the waist down. They also called on the Wisconsin state legislature to reconvene and enact “meaningful measures to 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
Brown recently wrote in The Players’ Tribune about the police brutality he experienced in a 2018 incident when officers tased him and kneeled on his neck. He has an ongoing lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee.
Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul said he had a brief conversation Wednesday night with Bucks players.
Here's Attorney General Josh Kaul (@WisDOJ) on his phone call with the @Bucks. Kaul adds: “The Bucks have, frankly, done more to address these issues than @SpeakerVos or @SenFitzgerald have done. So I applaud them for stepping up and playing a leadership role in the debate.” pic.twitter.com/tobXeFisHW
— Victor Jacobo (@victorjacobo_) August 27, 2020
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports that players will hold another meeting later Thursday with two players per team, while The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports players “want to find new and improved ways to make social justice statements.” NBA owners and players have a meeting set for later Thursday that is expected to include discussion on “plans of action moving forward on social justice issues,” according to Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.
The players’ activism on issues of racial injustice and police brutality is not isolated to the case of Blake. Players have talked often with reporters about the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. Sixers players, including Josh Richardson, Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris, have advocated for voting, education, ending qualified immunity and other methods to address deeply entrenched systemic inequalities.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.