The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5 of their playoff series against Orlando Magic in protest over racial injustice.
The action comes on the heels of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
In a statement, the NBA promises Game 5 will be rescheduled, “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.”
The NBA and the NBPA 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 – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.
— NBA (@NBA) August 26, 2020
"It is a great challenge to have an appreciation and a desire to want change. To want something different and better in Kenosha, Milwaukee and Wisconsin and then to go out and play a game." pic.twitter.com/BCmHZdFf1P
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
“Myself and our players and our organization are very disturbed by what’s happening in Kenosha,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said earlier on Wednesday.
“It’s a great challenge to have an appreciation and a desire for change and something different and better in Kenosha and Milwaukee and Wisconsin and then go out and play a game.”
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
— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) August 26, 2020
The Bucks later issued a statement, read by the team’s players.
“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings,” the statement began.
“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 Bucks’ statement continued.
“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement,” the statement added.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,” the statement concluded. “For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.”
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
The Magic, who trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven, first-round series, left the court when it was clear the Bucks were not going to play.
The Bucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
SALUTE ✊🏾 @Bucks
— 13am Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) August 26, 2020
Shoot Hoops, Not People. pic.twitter.com/loHk0XJsvo
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) August 26, 2020
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND CHANGE! SALUTE @Bucks ✊🏾🙏🏾🗣
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 26, 2020
I hope the sponsors that claim to be “allies” put their power into play in support of the NBA. This move may not seem directly correlated to immediate action but it’s an absolutely important statement. #NBAboycott
— h (@halsey) August 26, 2020
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) August 26, 2020
Let’s go BUCKS✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿✊
— ARKELLS (@arkellsmusic) August 26, 2020
HUGE props to @Bucks & the @NBA. I been saying this for a minute if you want change take away peoples fun and escapes and just deal with the problem at hand. I hope they never start back until justice is served. @NFL and @MLB should follow suit.
— Jamie Kennedy (@JamieKennedy) August 26, 2020