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Breaking News: Milwaukee Bucks Sitting Out Game 5 of NBA Playoffs In Protest Of Jacob Blake Killing

Houston Rockets, Oklahoma Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers, Portland TrailBlazers join Boycott

Officials stand beside an empty court before the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

When it was time to tip off Game 5 of the Milwaukee Bucks-Orlando Magic series on Wednesday afternoon, no one from either team was on the court.

Multiple players in the NBA bubble have discussed sitting out games and even leaving Florida after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisc., about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, as he attempted to enter his vehicle where his three children were inside. Shortly after the scheduled game time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Bucks will boycott the game.

Orlando Magic players had been on the court for pregame warmups but left well before game time. Bucks players never took the court.

Bucks guard George Hill told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that they weren’t playing because “we’re tired of the killings and the injustice.” Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, whose team is scheduled to play the Jazz on Thursday, tweeted: “WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!”

Some NBA players didn’t want to resume the season after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. They decided to play, but with most players kneeling during the National Anthem and wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts during pregame warmups.

A day after Blake was shot, Hill expressed frustration with the players’ inability to make a difference while playing games in the bubble.

“We can’t do anything,” Hill said Monday. “First of all, we shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here took all the focal points off what the issues are.”

The Bucks-Magic game was supposed to be the first of a playoff tripleheader, which includes Rockets-Thunder at 5:30 p.m. and Lakers-Blazers at 8 p.m. While no official statement has been made yet but players of other teams have been seen leaving the building after Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul – President of the NBA Players Union – were seen coming out of a room from a private meeting.

The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have discussed boycotting Game 1 of their second-round series, which is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. According to the Undefeated’s Marc Spears, the “majority” of players want to play.

“It’s an active discussion,” Jayson Tatum said. “Obviously it started with the Raptors and obviously that’s who we’re playing. It’s been talked about with other guys on other teams. People are upset or angry and we’re just trying to come together and figure out a way how we can do something. Obviously people are going to say, ‘Well, what is sitting out going to do?’ Obviously if we sit out a game or the rest of the playoffs, we understand how big of an impact that will have. Everybody’s going to have to talk about it, continue to raise awareness. We don’t want to just keep playing and forget about what’s going on in the outside world, because it’s affecting us. It’s affecting everybody. We’re more than just basketball players. We’re people. And we have these raw emotions and feelings

Tatum added that players are fine with individuals boycotting as well.

“If certain guys, certain individuals make their own decisions, that’s perfectly fine,” Tatum said. “Everybody is entitled to feel how they feel and act upon how they want to act. Nobody is going to be judge one way or another.”

Several NBA players and coaches — such as LeBron James, Chris Paul and Doc Rivers — have issued strong statements against police brutality of Black men. But the Bucks are the first team to protest by refusing to play. have expressed their feeling of the summary execution of James Blake since he was murdered Sunday. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers made a poignant statement on Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot several times by police.

“F— THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” Lebron James – who was previously told to “Shut up and dribble,” by Fox News host Laura Ingraham – tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee’s decision is unprecedented, but was nonetheless met with widespread support from players across the league. Below are reactions from other players as it became clear the Bucks would not play their potential series-clinching game against the Magic.

Black Westchester has just learned that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder who were scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. and Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Blazers who were scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. have just postponed their games as well shortly after 5PM Wednesday.

NBA Players have called for a meeting for 8PM tonight to discuss next steps. While no players are making their known publicly but Black Westchester has learned there are players who are considering leaving the bubble.

The NBA made a statement confirming all three games were postponed.

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.

This is a historical moment, not just for sports but for the fight for Criminal Justice Reform in America.

Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story!

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About AJ Woodson (2278 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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