The Milwaukee Bucks were set to play against the Orlando Magic in game 5 of the NBA playoffs this evening. The team did not show up for practice today and have announced they are boycotting tonight's game over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. NBA players from various teams have voiced their opinions that not enough is being done about police killings and brutality in the United States. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers went viral over openly discussing the situation after a game last night. In light of the Bucks' decision, the NBA is rescheduling the rest of tonight's games.
In addition to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are also reportedly looking into boycotting their NBA playoff games. Alex Lasry, a senior vice president with the Bucks says, "Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org 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." Lasry wrote that on his personal Twitter account. You can read the NBA's statement about postponing the games below.
"The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today's three games -- Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers -- have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled."
In addition to the NBA teams, MLB team the Milwaukee Brewers will also boycott their game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers had been scheduled to play the Reds at home at 8:10 p.m. ET on tonight. Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader said, "I think it's a tremendous stand. This is more about sports. I'm sure it's something we are going to discuss," before the decision was ultimately made. It is not clear if other baseball teams will follow suit.
On August 23rd, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police, despite being unarmed. The shooting has left Blake paralyzed. He was reportedly breaking up a fight when he was approached by law enforcement. The whole thing was caught on video and quickly went viral, bringing back memories of George Floyd, who was murdered by police officers earlier this year, which has set off another round of protests across the nation, one that resulted in the deaths of two protestors last night in Kenosha.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers went viral for his comments on the RNC and the shooting of Jacob Blake. Criticizing the GOP for stoking fear, Rivers said, "We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones that we're denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung. We've been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear." Rivers has seen criticism from former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who believes that the NBA coach "is seriously misleading the African-American community... It's a con job the Democrats have played on them for 60 years."
Fellow NBA players have praised the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to boycott tonight's NBA playoff game. Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray and Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell are demanding justice on social media in solidarity with the Bucks. While LeBron James is taking things a step further and criticizing the president of the United States for not acting compassionate during this chaotic time. Whatever the case may be, boycotting an NBA playoff game is huge news and something that will catch a lot of attention from the entire world. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to announce the news on his Twitter account.